Ongoing COVID-19 updates from Eversight

Page updated at 3:37 p.m. ET on May 18, 2020



Tissue safety

Our commitment to patient safety
Eversight consistently applies comprehensive safety standards and strict medical screening criteria from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) in recovering and preparing donated eye tissue for transplantation. In addition, potential donors known or suspected to have COVID-19 are disqualified from donating eye tissue for surgical transplantation.

Eversight continually assesses the latest scientific research and eye banking practices to ensure our techniques best mitigate any infection risk, not just the risk of COVID-19. We researched, developed and implemented an improved infection prevention protocol in 2019 that further mitigates risk at the time of procurement with a proven double antiseptic soak. Our rigorous standards ensure patient safety and the safety of the donor tissue provided for transplantation.

Additional tissue safety precautions
The CDC, FDA and EBAA require that eye banks follow guidelines that effectively ensure tissue safety. These requirements do not include testing for COVID-19. However, Eversight will begin testing potential surgical tissue donors for COVID-19 in June to provide additional peace of mind for patients and surgeons. We will continually assess the science surrounding COVID-19 and adjust our testing protocol accordingly as our knowledge of the disease evolves. Detailed clinical information about COVID-19 testing is available on our Tissue Safety page.

Status of events & programs

Updated April 27, 2020, 11:45 a.m. ET — Several events are affected due to our decision to suspend all in-person events and programs through May 31 to minimize risk and protect our community. We will continue to assess that timeline as we closely monitor state and federal guidance and consult with our medical directors and teams.

For surgeons

Eversight wet labs — Ohio, March 14; Connecticut, April 25
Postponed. Registration fees will be reimbursed in full and we look forward to rescheduling.

ARVO annual meeting, May 3-7
Canceled. For updates from the Association for Vision and Research in Ophthalmology, visit arvo.org.

World Cornea Congress, May 14-15
Rescheduled. For updates from the Cornea Society, visit corneasociety.org.

ASCRS annual meeting, May 15-19
Canceled. For updates from the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, visit annualmeeting.ascrs.org.

For researchers

Eversight Eye & Vision Research Grants — Application deadline: April 15
Deadline extended. Grant applications will now be accepted through Aug. 31. Apply today!

For donor families and the public

Illinois Donor Family Gathering, March 28
Postponed. Families will be notified when a new date is confirmed.

Arena™, co-hosted with Muslim Life Planning Institute, April 4
Postponed. Details to be announced when a new date is confirmed.

Michigan Donor Family Gathering, co-hosted with Gift of Life Michigan, May 3
Rescheduled for August 2, 2020. Invitations will be mailed early this summer. 

Garden Dedication and Open House in Michigan, June 12
Postponed. Details to be announced when a new date is confirmed.

Gift of Sight Golf Classic in Michigan, June 20
Postponed to fall 2020 as a virtual golf event. More details to come at EversightGolf.givesmart.com.

2020 Donate Life U.S. Transplant Games hosted by New Jersey Sharing Network, July 17-22
Rescheduled for July 16-21, 2021. Eversight is a proud sponsor. For updates on the Transplant Games, visit TransplantGamesofAmerica.org.


Preparedness & continuity

March 16, 2020, 8:30 a.m. ET — As widely expected, developments surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19) have evolved quickly. For weeks, we have focused on preparedness across all of our service area locations in the U.S. and South Korea to ensure the safety of our staff and continuity of our service. The well-being of our staff and those we serve—including our surgeons and their patients, researchers, donor families and volunteers—is our highest priority.

Our commitment to serving our surgeons and their patients is unwavering. We anticipate no disruption in service to our mission: to restore sight and prevent blindness through donation, transplantation and research. As always, our clinical operations team follows Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) standard safety precautions to ensure their personal safety and the safety of the gifts of donated tissues we recover. Donors are screened for diagnosed or possible COVID-19 according to federal guidelines.

We are suspending all in-person events and programs through May 31 to minimize risk and protect the Eversight family and broader community. This includes industry conference attendance, wet lab surgical trainings, philanthropic fundraising events and community outreach programs. We made this decision with great thought and care for our communities, and we will continue to assess that timeline as we closely monitor state and federal guidance and consult with our medical directors and teams.

We have established preventive measures to protect the Eversight team in accordance with public health guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), CDC and state health departments. Measures include suspending travel, providing remote work arrangements wherever possible and extending sick leave policies for our employees.

Our highest priority is the safety and well-being of our Eversight team. We are committed to taking care of our people, and we will continue to evaluate and communicate as the situation evolves.


About Eversight
Eversight is a nonprofit organization with a mission to restore sight and prevent blindness through the healing power of donation, transplantation and research. The Eversight network is responsible for recovering, evaluating and providing human eye tissue for transplantation; supporting research into the causes and cures of blinding eye conditions; promoting donation awareness through public and professional education; and providing humanitarian aid to people around the world in need of corneal transplantation. Operating in Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and South Korea, Eversight works in collaboration with surgeons, researchers, academic medical centers and eye banks across the United States and abroad. For more information, visit eversightvision.org.