BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has significantly disrupted the delivery of healthcare . Although most nonurgent ophthalmology visits at Boston Children's Hospital were canceled, premature infants at risk for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) still required timely, in-person care during the initial 3-month period of the infection surge in Massachusetts . The purpose of the current study was to report our protocols for mitigating risk of exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) between infants and eye care providers and to compare examination rates and results with the same 3-month period in 2019 .
METHODS: During the infection surge, we added new infection control measures and strengthened existing ones . Additional personal protective equipment was used, and the number of ophthalmologists rotating in the three high-capacity NICUs we service was limited .
RESULTS: More infants required ROP examinations during the study period in 2020 than in the same period in 2019, but fewer examinations were performed . There were no cases of missed progression to severe ROP during this time and no known transmission of SARS-CoV-2 between ROP patients and ophthalmology staff .
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, effective ROP care was safely provided during the COVID-19 pandemic, and contact with this vulnerable population was minimized.