MISSOULA — Among the list of Missoula businesses becoming fully operational on Monday under the COVID-19 phased reopening plan are optometry and dentist’s offices.
Non-essential healthcare services have been in the same boat as businesses like restaurants and retail shops for weeks due to COVID-19 concerns. Appointments like routine physicals, eye exams, and dental cleanings have been put on hold due to guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
One Missoula optometry office, Lebsock Eye Care --operated by the father-son duo Jeff and Nathan Lebsock -- say they’ve been shut down since March 20, only seeing patients for emergency appointments.
Lebsock Eye Care be cutting back on appointments and taking extra precautions as they get back into the swing of things.
"On an average day we see three patients an hour, so 15 to 20 patients a day between Jeff and myself. The first week we’re gonna start out with one patient an hour for the both of us,” Nathan Lebsock explained.
“So we’re gonna be going from 15 patients to about five, six, maybe seven a day depending on the type of exam, so we’ll be slow but we’re fortunate to be able to get back to work in an essential way,” he added.
Many other businesses are also reopening Monday under the first phase of Gov. Steve Bullock’s plan to gradually reopen the Treasure State.