COVID-19 changed the way many veterinarians practiced. From curbside to telemedicine, clinics adapted and pivoted in the face of the pandemic to keep people and pets safe. As we continue on in this "new normal," we invite you to browse our resources and share them with clients. From general guidelines to more specifics, we hope you find these to be helpful in practice. If you need more info or have suggested resources, contact us!
It's also a great time to remind clients that they should have a plan in place in case they are hospitalized or can't care for their pets. Share this flyer from SMART to encourage pet owner preparedness.
Many practices implemented curbside care during the height of the pandemic. Some have found that clients and staff appreciate this service and will continue offering it as a regular service beyond COVID-19. MVMA surveyed members in the first year of COVID to learn what their plans were and how things were going. Below are resources you can share with clients along with survey results.
MVMA curbside "please be patient" poster
MVMA "Why can't I come in" poster
MVMA survey results - Fall 2021
MVMA survey results - Spring 2021
MVMA survey results - Fall 2020
RETURING TO PRACTICE
It remains up to practice owners how they choose to proceed. Some clinics are allowing clients back into the office while others plan to continue curbside indefinitely. Some clinics aren't requiring masks or are only requiring them for unvaccinated clients while others require masks regardless of vaccination status and still others have no mask requirement. You may choose to ask COVID screening questions (template below), or even ask about vaccination status or proof of vaccine. You will want to consider ADA requirements when asking about vaccination status and you cannot ask why someone has not been vaccinated.
MVMA client COVID screening template
MVMA Return to in-person appointments guideline poster
MVMA What to know before entering a clinic poster
Telemedicine can be an effective way to reduce exposure to disease. The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Veterinary Medicine permits the use of telemedicine when appropriate only after a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (“VCPR”) is first established. View the Board's policy HERE.
AVMA Telehealth Coalition (MVMA has signed onto this initiative)
GuardianVets (after hours triage service; MVMA member discounts available)
HUMAN RESOURCES CONSIDERATIONS
It's important for management to consider health-related requests for time off and make PPE available to employees.
Paid Time Off Sample Request Form
Bttn. (MVMA's PPE distribution partner)
ANIMALS AND COVID-19
Extensive tracking and research have been done on susceptibility of animals to SARS-CoV-2. Understanding how the virus spreads between nonhuman mammals, and then between those mammals and humans, can help us better manage the current pandemic—and prepare for the next one.
Global Database of COVID and Animals
USDA COVID Dashboard of Variants in Animals