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COVID-19

New Hospital Protocols

What We Know

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is an upper respiratory virus that causes mild symptoms such as sore throat, cough, and fever. For some people, especially our at-risk community, i.e. the elderly and people with asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and immunodeficiencies, COVID-19 can advance to more severe medical conditions such as pneumonia and difficulty breathing.

Please take care to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Studies have shown an uncovered cough has a radius of up to 20 feet. An uncovered sneeze has a radius of up to 25 feet. Expelled respiratory droplets from a cough or sneeze have been found suspended in the air up to 10 minutes afterward. Please sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow or into a tissue, then discard the tissue and clean your hands. While hand sanitizer is good to use, frequent, thorough hand-washing is the preferred method to protect yourself and others in preventing transmission. Avoid touching your face, shaking hands, or hugging to avoid spreading the disease.

As per CDC guidelines, for surface cleaning, EPA-approved disinfectant products, a bleach solution of ⅓ cup bleach diluted in 1 gallon of water (or 4 teaspoons diluted in 1 quart of water), alcohol-based solutions with at least 70% alcohol can be used where appropriate. A new bleach solution should be made daily.

While dogs and cats cannot become infected with COVID-19, they can passively transmit the virus from one person to another. The WHO recommends infected family members remain quarantined from non-infected members including pets. Non-infected family members should care for pets whenever possible. Infected family members who have no other alternative of care for their pets should avoid kissing, hugging, and snuggling with or being licked or kissed by your pet. Wash hands before and after handling pets.

At this time, there are not enough COVID-19 tests in the United States. Emergency room doctors have little to no tests available and must ration them to people who are displaying symptoms with a fever, and who have had contact with someone who has traveled abroad or themselves tested positive for the virus. Sick people who cannot be tested should practice self-quarantine for a minimum of TWO weeks.

Our Plan Moving Forward

Although our doors are locked, we remain open at this time, and we will continue to do what we love: provide excellent healthcare to our patients.

Again, while the CDC and other health authorities have indicated that dogs, cats, and other domestic animals are not considered at risk for contracting COVID-19, we are taking extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of humans within our facilities—notably our clients and staff. Ensuring staff safety is the only way we can continue to be open.

IF YOU ARE FEELING ILL, OR EXPERIENCING A SORE THROAT OR FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS:

  • And your appointment is non-life threatening, we kindly ask that you call us to reschedule

  • And your appointment is an urgent medical emergency, please arrange for a trusted friend, neighbor, or healthy family member to transport your pet to our hospital

  • And you do not have a 2nd party to transport your pet, please call 773-283-2443 when you arrive at our hospital and remain in your vehicle with your pet.

IF YOU ARE HEALTHY WITH NO SIGNS OF ILLNESS:

  • When you arrive at the clinic, REMAIN IN YOUR VEHICLE

  • Call the clinic to begin the check-in process

  • Our Customer Service Representative (CSR) will confirm your contact information and place you on hold

  • The technician will take over the call, and get preliminary information from you about how your pet is doing. She will then instruct you on which door to meet her. We ask that you remain a minimum of 10 feet from the door. Once we bring your pet into the hospital, please return to your vehicle and remain on the premises.

  • The doctor will perform the examination, and call you to discuss her findings. The doctor will perform the agreed-upon treatments, and a CSR will check you out over the phone.

  • Although we prefer to take credit card payments over the phone, which eliminates contact, we do still accept cash and check. Please have the exact change, or the check written out when the technician meets you with your pet.

  • If you are paying via Care Credit and have not already downloaded the Care Credit app, we can send you a payment link via email to process your card

NEW CLIENTS/NEW PETS:

  • Please fill out a New Client form ahead of time to avoid long waits. Do what you can to email your pet’s records ahead of your appointment, even if it means emailing us photos of your pet's adoption records.

FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR STAFF:

  • All dogs must be on a leash or in a carrier. Please do not attempt to hand our technicians your unleashed pet.

  • All cats must be in a carrier.

  • Our staff members cannot retrieve a pet from inside your vehicle, and we cannot assist in loading items into your vehicle.

IF YOU NEED A REFILL OF FOOD OR MEDICATION FOR YOUR PET:

  • All medication refill requests now require a 48-hour notice.

  • Our technicians will call you to inform you your pet’s refill is ready for pickup, then transfer you to a CSR for checkout. Although contact-free credit card payments over the phone are preferred, we will accept cash or check at pick-up.

  • Please call our clinic when you arrive, and a member of our staff can meet you outside to bring you your pet’s refill.

  • For safety reasons, our staff members would be handing the item off to you, and not loading it into your vehicle.

  • Please do not attempt to walk into the lobby requesting a refill right away. This includes any and all prevention products (Heartgard, Nexgard, Bravecto, Revolution). Your request will be added to the refill request queue, and you will be called when it is ready for pickup.

  • We will not be able to accommodate requests for larger quantities of food or medication than you have previously received.

DUE TO THE POTENTIAL OF LIMITED STAFFING:

  • We cannot guarantee a turnaround time for doctor phone calls. Call requests will be triaged and prioritized at each doctor’s discretion. Please note that repeated phone calls will not affect the turnaround time. If you have a medical concern about your pet, please schedule an appointment.

  • We have limited access to our technician appointments. We need to make sure technicians are able to focus on what is most important: assisting the doctors in providing care to their patients. New clients and/or new patients please visit our website and fill out a New Client form ahead of time to avoid long waits. Do what you can to email your pet’s records ahead of your appointment, even if it means emailing us photos of your pet's adoption records.

Please understand, being firm and setting clear boundaries with our clients is the only way we can protect our staff and keep our hospital open. This is for your own protection as well.

*This plan is subject to change as new information from trusted sources comes to light*

Dear Valued Clients,

In response to the growing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to provide you with the following information. In the first section, "What We Know" we will discuss the key points of COVID-19. In the second section, "Our Plan Moving Forward," we explain how our hospital will proceed with making and maintaining appointments until further notice. This plan is subject to change as new information comes to light.