COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources

UPDATED DAILY AT 7PM

GVMA IS HERE FOR YOU.

GVMA Statement Regarding Recommended Veterinary Procedures During Pandemic (RELEASED 3/31/2020)

We will be updating this page regularly, so please check back on a daily basis for the latest news and information.

Our goal is to keep you updated with the information you need to protect the health of your practice team, your patients and your clients.

Check this page for information on handling business during the COVID-19 Pandemic, including GVMA Office Information, caring for your staff, caring for your clients and caring for your facility during this pandemic.

After reading this page, please register for the GVMA Virtual Town Hall Meeting on 4/07 at 7:30pm on “Not Business as Usual…” – more info can be found at the bottom of this page.

WE KNOW VETERINARY BUSINESSES ARE IMPORTANT

Both the GVMA at a local level and the AVMA on a national level are advocating to ensure that veterinary practices are not designated as nonessential in the event that it comes to that.

Under Governor Kemp’s Executive Order issued on 4/2 and effective on 4/3, veterinarians were defined as being part of the “Critical Infrastructure”.

As a result of Governor Kemp’s order, all other city and county orders are invalidated and we are only under the terms of the State’s Executive Order.

As such, Veterinary Businesses are NOT being asked to close in Georgia.

We highly suggest providing a letter to your employees should they be stopped by authorities. CLICK HERE FOR A LETTER TEMPLATE.


GVMA OFFICE STATUS

The GVMA office is mostly operational—feel free to call us at 678-309-9800 or email us at any time just as you normally would.

Because the GVMA Staff are not part of the “Critical Infrastructure” as outlined by the US Dept of Homeland Security, our team is working from home. Physical mailings from our office will be delayed, including mailed invoice payments, CVA program materials, handbook orders, and so forth. We appreciate your understanding during this stressful time.

GVMA EVENTS STATUS

  • GVMA events through June have been postponed
  • Check the GVMA Calendar for up to date information.

Information for Mobile & House-call Vets

Information for Cattle Veterinarians & Producers

  • Resources (AABP)
  • As part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ongoing commitment to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic and providing flexibility across FDA-regulated industries, the agency announced on 3/24 that it intends to temporarily suspend enforcement of certain requirements in order to allow veterinarians to better utilize telemedicine to address animal health needs during the pandemic. Please read the entire press release from the FDA here, and disseminate this to your licensees as applicable.

FOOD ANIMAL VETERINARIANS


Risk mitigation strategies


Your mental well-being & that of your staff is extremely important during this time of stress. View our Wellness Resources Here.

CARING FOR YOURSELF & STAFF

Develop a protocol around the following parameters:

  • Virus Education
    • No documented cases of transmission from animals to humans, no vaccine developed, number of cases in the area, recovery rate, providing a daily update based on facts.
    • Don’t let staff rely on fake news & illegitimate sources
    • Know the difference between the symptoms of coronavirus, the flu, a cold and seasonal allergies
  • Limiting Exposure
    • 6-ft distance from people, hand washing when in contact with any human/animal, no hand shaking/hugging/personal contact, no touching of your face, avoid exposure to crowds
    • Place hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, & tissues in common areas (exam rooms, meeting rooms, restrooms, break rooms, etc.)
    • Bring 2 extra changes of scrubs: 1 to stay inside & 1 to stay in your car
  • Develop a strict policy on staying home if you are sick
    • Take your temperature daily before you leave to come to work
  • Develop a strict policy on washing hands/using hand sanitizer whenever in contact with a sick pet, a client, or anyone dropping off supplies.
  • Take precautions in personal life
    • Line up multiple childcare options, bring their lunch to avoid public places, make a financial plan with their families if they must be off work, etc.
  • Maintain up to date staff records
    • Should include emergency contact information & vaccination history
    • Employee health information should be collected on a voluntary basis & confidentially maintained.
    • Employees with immunocompromising conditions should talk to their primary health-care provider to clarify work parameters & obtain guidance.
  • Handling Laundry
    • If handling soiled laundry, wear PPE (gloves, face mask, +/- gown if you think laundry will touch your clothing).
    • Remove gloves & soiled gowns before folding clean laundry.
    • When picking up pets from a client’s car wear PPE & place a washable towel over the pet when handling them to limit exposure to the pet.

Additional Resources


CARING FOR YOUR CLIENTS

For a decision tree on helping you interface with clients, check out this AVMA Flowchart.

Develop a protocol for interacting with your clients:

Phone Options:

  • Offer phone consultation/telemedicine as an option for sick pets for those clients where you already have a VCPR.
    • Over the phone discuss the pet’s health issue and explain the fees for a phone appointment (charge one that makes sense for your practice).
    • Make an appointment with an available doctor to call the client back within a 20-minute window of that appointment time.
    • View Georgia Telemedicine Information
  • Take histories and payments over the phone ahead of time to limit interaction time.
  • Allow your doctors to prescribe medication over the phone. If they can’t or feel the pet should be seen in person try “curbside”– (the owner comes to the parking to the facility where staff can retrieve the pet from their car).

Social Distancing:

  • Assure your clients that you are doing everything to ensure that your facility is a safe space (disinfecting, limiting access to outsiders, etc.).
  • Limit client access to the building, allowing no clients in the waiting room
  • Limit exam room visits to a single person (other interested parties can participate via speaker phone) only when you feel it is necessary for a client to be present (i.e. euthanasia procedures)—they should be immediately escorted to an exam room upon entry to the building.
  • Ask the client to call the practice when they arrive so you can escort them from the door directly to the exam room. If there is no exam room available, they should be instructed to wait in their car.
  • On the few occasions that you do allow clients into the building, they should be required to use antiseptic foam and/or hand sanitizer upon entry.
  • If a sick animal is boarded, discourage visitation except in critical situations such as end of life decisions and euthanasia.

Curbside Options:

  • Develop a protocol for scheduled drop-off pet visits for exams, blood work or other testing—ask the client to either wait in their car or pick up the pet once the procedures are completed. Communicate follow-up info with the client by phone or in the parking lot. Establish whether you will charge a fee if the pet isn’t picked up immediately after the visit.
    • Example Communication: “To keep both our clients and our staff safe and limit exposure for everyone, we are asking that all our furry friend parents refrain from entering the building. We will send someone out to service you! When you pull up please flash your lights to alert the front desk that you are here. And then if someone does not come out promptly, call us at #### to let us know you are here.”
  • Enable your clients to drive up to pick up medications and food with the option to stay in their car (staff can drop-off items). Payment should be made over the phone prior to picking up the item.
  • Offer to mail the clients any ongoing medications.
    • Example Communication: “We are making deliveries in the afternoon to a ten-mile radius of * and will leave them outside your door with no interpersonal contact”.

Additional Resources


CARING FOR YOUR FACILITY

Develop a protocol for cleaning and disinfecting your facility and equipment:

  • Conserve your PPE – View Conservation Strategies (CDC)
  • Your management team should set the standard for infection control practices and model desired behaviors.
  • A written checklist should be developed for each area of the facility (waiting room, examination rooms, treatment area, surgery suite and kennels) that specifies the frequency of cleaning, disinfection procedures, products to be used, and staff responsible.
  • Identify specific staff to be in charge of cleaning/disinfecting all restrooms and common spaces on an established schedule, as well as door handles, grab bars, etc.
  • Disinfect everything that is frequently touched—keyboards, phones, doorknobs, counters, etc.
  • Cleaning products and disinfectants may contain components harmful to human health. Employers should provide training as required by OSHA—detailing all physical, chemical and biological hazards in workplace and MSDS should be easily accessible.
  • List of selected disinfectants for pathogens
  • EPA disinfectant list for COVID-19
  • OSHA’s recommendations for preparing workplaces

Business Recovery & HR Decisions


CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC)

US Food & Drug AdministratioN (FDA)

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)

Additional resources for veterinary professionals


GVMA Virtual Town Hall On COVID-19

The GVMA is holding many virtual town halls during the COVID-19 Pandemic to keep you informed, compliant with regulations. AND to keep your business running!

RVSP today to get your questions answered live!

The GVMA is actively updating COVID-19 resources for our members. Our office is open and we can be contacted at GVMA@gvma.net or (678) 309-9800 should you need assistance.



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