NEW YORK—All optical sales categories suffered substantial declines nationally over the course of last week (Feb. 15-21) due to historically severe winter weather, according to Jobson’s Practice Performance Tracker. Declines in optical sales ranged from -14 index points for contact lenses to -16 index points for gross revenue and lens pairs. These numbers are likely to rebound when the impact from severe winter weather has passed. Also this past week, the U.S. approached an unfortunate milestone, half a million dead due to COVID-19, according to the COVID Tracking Project

The South was crippled by extreme cold, ice, and snow last week (Feb. 15-21), resulting in catastrophic power outages and frozen pipes along with optical sales dramatically decreasing in all categories in the region. Substantial optical sales declines in the South ranged from -27 index points for contact lenses to -31 index points for both frame units and lens pairs. Less substantial yet still significant decreases in optical sales were also experienced in all other census regions being tracked.

Optical sales declines in the Northeast, also impacted by snowstorms over the course of last week, ranged from -8 index points for frame units and lens pairs to -10 index points for exams/refractions. Smaller optical sales declines in both the West and Midwest ranged from -1 index point for exams/refractions in the West to -7 index points for contact lenses in the West.

During the same time period, all states (except Iowa) also experienced decreases in the number of coronavirus cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

The Jobson COVID-19 Practice Performance Tracker data is compiled by Jobson Research from GPN/EDGEPro and ABB Analyze data. Another element of the report illustrates Consumer Sentiments about the COVID-19 response and purchasing intentions, with data supplied by The Vision Council.

This index baseline was developed by Jobson Research from total sales from an average 7 days in the first quarter of 2019.

Click here to view the complete Jobson COVID-19 Performance Tracker