NEW YORK—Following a week during which we reached another grim milestone, the global death toll due to COVID-19 surpassing three million, U.S. optical sales decreased on a national basis over the course of last week (April 12-18), according to the latest Jobson Practice Performance Tracker. Sales of contact lenses declined the most, at a rate of -3 index points, followed by lens pairs, which fell by -2 index points. All other categories (gross revenue, exams/refractions, and frame units) decreased by 1 index point.

These U.S. optical sales trends occurred while we experienced "a complicated stage of the COVID-19 pandemic” as “Americans are being vaccinated” yet coronavirus “cases and hospitalizations are increasing in some areas of the country,” according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review

Optical sales in all regions and in most categories (except contact lenses) were either flat or down slightly at rates of only -1 or -2 index points. Categories and regions with the higher -2 index point rate of declining optical sales were exams/refractions in the Midwest, frame units in the South, and lens pairs in the Midwest and West.

Contact lens sales (which often follow their own direction) had their best performance in the West, increasing by 1 index point, and their worst in the Northeast, decreasing by 6 index points. This coincides with COVID-19 cases increasing in some areas of the country, with the upper Midwest hit especially hard, 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.

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