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    3/26/21 Renewal License Extension Date ends on 6/30/21

    According to Governor Hogan's  Executive Order dated 3/9/21, No.21-03-09-03, the license expiration date for optometrists whose licenses expired on June 30, 2020 has been extended until June 30, 2021. Licensees can place their licenses on inactive status no later than June 30, 2021, if they choose not to renew their license. 

    3-26-21 - Extension of Deadline for 10- Hour Mandatory Course ends on 6/30/21

    TPA certified optometrists who graduated prior to July 1, 2019 were required by law to take a mandatory 10-hour course prior to July 1, 2020 to maintain TPA certification. Please read this notice about the extension of the deadline to June 30, 2021.

    • 3/25/21 -BHA Clinical Letter Helping the Helpers

    • 2/5/21 -  Resources for Health Care Professionals

      The Maryland Department of Health will update resources for health care professionals as they become available.The Department urges you to regularly check their vaccine dashboards for more information:



    • 1/25/21 Updates on Maryland’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plan :Phase 1C on Monday, January 25 (Week 7 Allocation).
    • 1/21/21 MDH Amended Directive and Order Regarding Vaccination Matters :This update includes language about the Personnel Who May Administer the COVID-19 Vaccine

    • 1/14/21 Vaccine Administration Training
      Dear Licensee
      Some licensees have asked w​here one can get trained in order to become a vaccinator. This is the CDC link on training for health care providers: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/COVID-19-Clinical-Training-and-Resources-for-HCPs.pdf
      All that is required by MDH under the current order is that one take the CDC training.
      Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps will be hosting virtual COVID-19 vaccination training for those who are registered with the corps. For more information, you can visit their website at Maryland Responds

    • 1/5/21: MDH Order Requiring Reporting of Covid-19 Vaccine Administration 
    • 1/1/21: Amended Directive and Order Regarding Vaccination Matters 

    • 1/7/21 Vaccine Distribution
      Dear Licensee
      I’m certain that you have seen, read or heard about Governor Hogan’s recent update yesterday. Attached are the links to the most recent Governor's and MDH Secretary's Orders. All licensed , certified and registered health care providers are in Phase 1A of the vaccination distribution, which is what the state of Maryland is in now. The Health Occupations Boards provided data to the Department's COVID - 19 Task Force reflecting the number of active licensees for each Board by jurisdiction, county/Baltimore City.
      The MDH Secretary is interested in this information for vaccination planning, distribution, and administration. The data will help the local health departments to prepare vaccination distribution for all licensed health care providers in Maryland.
      You are encouraged to contact your local health department for more information. Continue to get information from the Department at the COVID Link https://covidlink.maryland.gov/content/.

    • COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
      Dear Optometry Licensee:

      At this time, Maryland is concentrating on Phase 1A of the vaccination plan, which is focused on getting the initial Federal allocation of 273,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses out to hospitals, nursing homes (residents/staff), and first responders.

      The Department has been working on detailed operational plans, and expects to have more information for you over the next four to six weeks.
      The Department urges you to regularly check their vaccine dashboards for more information:

      Also, please check with your local county/city health departments where you reside and/or practice for more information about the vaccine distribution plans they have in those areas.

      Please do not contact the Board for more information on the vaccine, as staff does not handle this operation.

    • Draft Vaccination Plan
      Licensees should contact their local health departments. The LHDs will be coordinating with the vaccination sites and may have more information on how the training and supervision process is supposed to work for licensees who do not have vaccination in their scope of practice. Here is the link to the draft plan https://health.maryland.gov/phpa/Documents/10.19.2020_Maryland_COVID-19_Vaccination_Plan_CDCwm.pdf

    • 12/8/20 COVID-19 Update
      MDH Order Regarding Vaccination Matters:
      1. Reiterates that health care providers who already have statutory authority to administer vaccines can administer the COVID-19 vaccines
      2. Expands the scope of practice of licensed health care providers to allow them to administer COVID-19 vaccines with appropriate training
      3. Authorizes all other individuals to administer COVID-19 vaccines after receiving appropriate training and under reasonable supervision
      4. Since some COVID-19 vaccines require dilution before being administered, the order also authorizes licensed health care providers to prepare (dilute) the vaccine after receiving training

    • 11/10/20 COVID-19 Update
      MDH Amended Healthcare Matters Order
      Electives - each licensed healthcare provider shall exercise individual independent professional judgment in determining what procedures are urgent and nonelective.

    • Gov. Hogan Press Release 10/20/20 Re: Draft Covid Vaccination Plan
      For your information, press release on the vaccination plan submitted by MDH to the CDC.

    • 8/10/20 COVID-19 Update
      Renewal of Declaration of State of Emergency - Voting and Healthcare Provider Immunity

    • 8/6/20 COVID-19 Update
      Amended Directive and Order - COVID-19 Testing & Reporting
      The revised health care matters order makes the following change that affects individuals licensed by Maryland health occupations boards. The Board, however, cannot provide any guidance to licensed optometrists relevant to this order. In addition to those individuals already authorized to collect COVID-19 specimens for testing, any individual licensed, registered, or certified by MDH or a MD health occupations board who has appropriate training may collect COVID-19 test specimens. (page 3)

    • 7/1/20 COVID -19 Update - MDH Order - Amended Various Healthcare Matters - COVID Testing on Demand

    • Extension of 6/30/20 Deadline for 10- Hour Mandatory Course
  • 5/6/2020 - COVID-19 Update - Resumption of Elective and Non-Urgent Medical Procedures - Conditions

      Per Secretary Neal's amended Directive and Order dated today, "all licensed healthcare facilities and healthcare providers may resume elective and non-urgent medical procedures and appointments at 7:00 A.M., May 7, 2020, provided certain measures are in place." Please read the full text of the Amended Order.

      "A healthcare provider’s failure to comply with the terms of this order shall be considered to constitute unprofessional conduct, and written complaints about such failures may be directed to the appropriate health occupation board."

      • 5/3/2020 COVID-19 Update - Board Statement on Practice Guidance

      There have been numerous rumors and inquiries from licenses about optometry practices re-opening. The Board has issued the following updated statement.

      Board’s Statement on Practice Guidance Regarding Secretary Neal’s Directives and Orders dated 3/23/20 and 4/5/20

      The Board does not provide specific practice guidelines. This is up to the clinical judgment of each practitioner based on training and experience and the condition of the patient. An optometrist should follow published, nationally accepted practice or clinical guidelines and standards of care and any published orders or directives of the Governor or the Maryland Secretary of Health. Neither the Board nor its staff is authorized to provide legal advice or statutory interpretation of the Maryland Optometrists Practice Act (the “Act”). See, Md. Code Ann., Health Occupations Article (“Health Occ.”), §§11-101, et seq. Neither is the Board or staff authorized to provide guidance on the Governor's Executive Orders or the Secretary of Health's directives and orders. The Board urges you to review the provisions of the Act and accompanying regulations. See, COMAR 10.28. The Board also urges you to review the provisions of the Governor's Executive Orders, the Governor's Office of Legal Counsel's Interpretive Guidance, and the Secretary of Health's directives and orders. Should you have any further questions on scope of practice issues, or the application of any of the Governor's Executive Orders or the Secretary of Health's directives and orders, the Board recommends that you contact an attorney of your choice who can advise you on health law issues.

      • 5/1/2020 COVID-19 Update - Routine Eye Care in Maryland

      Licensed optometrists are not permitted to perform routine eye care services in Maryland at this time.

      Elective and Non-urgent Medical Procedures - All Health Care Practitioners

      Pursuant to the Executive Order of March 16, 2020 issued by Governor Hogan relating to various health care matters and in accordance with the guidance issued by Maryland Department of Health and posted on its website at http://coronavirus.maryland.gov, all providers of health care licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized under the Health Occupations Article shall perform only medical procedures that are critically necessary for the maintenance of health for a patient. All elective and non-urgent medical procedures and appointments shall cease effective at 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and shall not be performed for the duration of the catastrophic health emergency in the state of Maryland.