Clinic Policies and Updates Surrounding the Corona Virus Outbreak
The health, safety, and on-going care of our patients, clients, and staff has always been the priority of the staff at Dearborn Animal Hospital, and continues to be our primary concern at this time.
Veterinary Medicine is considered a Essential Public Health Service by the AVMA and USDA, and to that end we are continuing to operate as safely and efficiently as possible during this crisis, to continue to bring the care you need to your pet(s).
We have made several changes to our operations to improve the safety of our clients and staff, and continue to monitor suggestions from the CDC and American Veterinary Medical Association daily. We will continually update our Website, Facebook, and send periodic Newsletters to keep our clients appraised of any changes or updates as they happen.
Current Social Distancing Policies In Place:
Last Update: Sep 20, 2020
- We will be continuing to maintain all social-distancing policies, including maintaining a Closed Lobby, until further notice. Once evidence emerges that it is safe to do so, we will re-evaluate our policies based on the current recommendations of public health officials.
- All clients must remain outside during the exam / appointment of their pet. Upon arriving at the clinic, a staff member will greet you at the door, and get you checked in. All clients will wait in their cars or under the provided sun-shade, while maintaining social distancing - a Vet Assistant will collect your pet, bring it to the exam room, and the Veterinarian will give you a call to review questions and go over findings. All owners must be prepared for a phone call, as on severe weather days, our staff members may not be able to collect information from you in the parking lot. The only exceptions to this rule will be for Euthanasias and some Emergencies. We will make every attempt to provide a safe environment for owners to discuss Quality of Life matters with the veterinarian and to stay with their pet. Emergencies will be determined on a case-by-case basis. If you leave the property while your pet is being seen, unless instructed to do so by the veterinarian, you may be charged a boarding fee.
- All staff members are required to wear a protective face mask while working with clients or within close proximity of one another. We are continuing to be rigorous about sanitizing all pens and surfaces in the building, as well as washing hands constantly and between each patient and client.
- Our Lobby and Building is Closed. All patients waiting to be seen are to wait outside with a 6-foot radius between themselves and other clients, or in their cars. This allows us to prevent any close-contact in our lobby for clients and staff, and allows us to sanitize each room between patients, to provide the cleanest environment possible. Please do not enter our lobby unless instructed to do so by our staff.
- We are still open for routine and emergency patients, but we recommend Appointments to decrease your waiting time and possible exposure. We will ensure that your patient is up-to-date on current vaccine schedules, but if you can defer your routine appointment until after October 1, please do. Rabies vaccines are still required by law to be up-to-date, and can be done separately from the annual visit to minimize your wait time. Due to a large number of emergent patients, we are experiencing extended wait-times for work-in patients. Please be aware that you may have a long wait if coming in to the clinic as a work-in. Our work-in capacity may cut off early during the day, so please call ahead to be sure that we are still receiving patients.
- Prescriptions and Food Pickups are still available. Please call ahead, so that we can set your items aside and minimize your wait time. We ask you to support a local business at this time and purchase directly from us when you are able!
- For all Immune-compromised and Sick Individuals, please reach out to us via phone or email. Do not come to the clinic! We will work with you to determine what steps we can take to treat your pets without exposing you to further contagion. If we determine that your patient is experiencing an emergency and needs to be seen, we will work to minimize any exposure during your visit, and encourage you to have neighbors, family members, or friends bring your pet. We can contact you via telephone during the exam to discuss your pet's symptoms and the medical plan.
- If in clinic for a Euthanasia, please feel free to wash your hands! We have sinks and soap in each room, and hand-sanitizer stations at our front desk. This helps prevent the spread of any contagion. It protects you, our community, and our staff! Please help us practice social distancing, even the in Exam Rooms, to ensure that we can treat your pet in safety. It is recommended to leave 6 to 10 feet of distance between yourself and other individuals at all times. All members of the public that enter the clinic are required to provide and wear their own face mask / shield at all times. All clients in rooms are asked to remain seated at all times to allow our staff the room to navigate and treat your pet to the best of their ability. During these procedures, we will allow maximum 2 owners into the room, with permission of the veterinarian. Masks must be worn at all times while in the building, no exceptions.
- Any Staff Members who experience symptoms (or who have members of their households experiencing symptoms) of the Corona Virus are being sent home to quarantine immediately. We are monitoring the CDC Guidelines and Recommendations, but currently are requiring any staff members under quarantine to have a household free of symptoms for 7 days prior to returning to work. We are in constant communication with all staff, determining their health risks, to ensure that our staff and clients are able to maintain the best health possible.
In-Clinic COVID19 SOP Policy Update, September 19, 2020
As of September 15 the Governor of Georgia has once again extended his executive order for dealing with Covid-19. Masks are not going to be required but are recommended statewide with many places requiring masks. Other basics such as recommended social distancing remain in place. Please remember SAFETY Comes First!
Here at Dearborn Animal Hospital we will be maintaining our current protocols going forward until such a time that we feel that the safety of our clients and staff can be assured. When new information comes from the CDC, WHO or AVMA suggests it is safe, we will consider step wise re-opening our lobby.
Key points of our plan are listed below, but may not include all precautions that we are taking to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases:
- The Building will remain closed to the public and all clients. (The rest rooms will accessible to our clients while their pets are being seen by our doctors.) (In cases of QOL, 1 0r 2 owners may be permitted to be present upon doctors permission, in room 5)
- All Staff members will wear masks / face coverings while working with clients and other staff members. Social distancing is highly recommended at all times but may not be possible during the handing of pets and during procedures.
- All staff shall wash their hands throughout the day (use of hand sanitizer is also permitted)
- Clients will be met in the parking lot and pets will be brought into exam rooms to be seen by the doctors. Histories can be taken in the parking lot or over the phone once the pet is in an exam room.
- Clients should remain in the parking lot in the same numbered space and be prepared to receive a call from the hospital to discuss proper care.
- After the exam or procedure the doctor will update the client and then the proper fees will be charged and paid by the client prior to the pet being returned to the parking lot and owner.
- Medications and Food can be purchased prior to the client’s arrival to the hospital and will be prepped and ready for them when they arrive.
- Walk in appointments maybe limited (or cut off early) if we reach the capacity of our doctors and staff for any given day. Same day appointments for the following day may be used if we have to cut off walk-ins early.
- Drop off appointments may be scheduled in same day slots for the following day if we have to cut off early the day before. But they must be scheduled for a doctor in one of their slots. All drop offs must be triaged by a doctor upon arrival and full history obtained before the owner leaves. Same day drop offs are allowed but only with the doctors permission.
- Staff members or clients that are ill or not feeling well should not come to Dearborn Animal Hospital. Pets will be seen in cases of emergency if clients are covid positive or showing signs.
Please think about others and take proper precautions to stay safe and healthy!
Client Letter from Our Staff, June 2
Our continual focus is on the health and well-being of our staff and clients. We will continue to follow the guidelines last updated on May 26, 2020. All staff will continue washing their hands on a regular basis throughout the day, social distancing, and wearing face coverings while working with clients and during normal operations within the hospital. We know that the virus is still active and understand the various concerns moving forward, but we must begin to plan for a return to regular business operations, environment permitting.
It is our plan and intention to continue these measures until at least July 2, 2020, at which time we will begin taking steps to relax some safety precautions. Outlined below are steps we are planning at this point, and will begin putting in place for July 2.
- We will continue to keep our waiting area closed. All clients will continue to be checked in curbside.
- We will give clients the options to come in for their pet's appointment if they verify that they (1) are not showing any signs of illness, and (2) have not knowingly come in contact with any infected individual. Otherwise, this client will be required to wait outside, as we are currently doing. If the client would like to come into the room during the exam, only one person will be allowed at a time. They must remain seated at all times, and must wear a face covering (mask) for the duration of their time in the clinic. In-room checkout may be utilized.
- Clients will have the opportunity to come into the lobby to purchase food and pick up medications. Only two clients will be allowed in the lobby at a time, and they must be wearing a face covering (mask) at all times while in the building.
- Surgical drop-offs will be allowed into the lobby one at a time, to allow for completion of any history or medical forms. Clients must be wearing a face covering (mask) at all times while in the building.
- Boarding drop-offs will be allowed in the lobby one at a time, to allow for completion of forms and dropping off of food or medications. must be wearing a face covering (mask) at all times while in the building.
These steps may be delayed or revised based on the latest updates from public health organizations, and the situation in our local community.
Once again, we have moved our date from June 15th until July 2nd before any further opening of the hospital for our clients. We also will be maintaining all safety precautions currently in place until further notice.
We are exceedingly proud of and grateful for our staff, who have done an exemplary job of adjusting their work positions, hours, and operations to be able to continue care for our patients during these unprecedented times. We appreciate your understanding as we implement new policies intended to provide the best care possible, while maintaining safety for our staff and clients.
Client Letter from Our Staff, April 26
We just want to thank you for your on-going support! As we all deal with the current crisis and “shelter at home” we wanted to give you an important update.
Dearborn Animal Hospital is considered an “essential” business and so we are working to maintain our regular business hours with some important changes to the way we operate. Understand these steps are being taken to provide the best safety for both our staff and our clients. Please note some of these changes listed below to better serve you.
- We have closed our Lobby and waiting areas, so we now will meet you outside and start the process of checking you in, and will then take your pet into be examined and or treated. In cases of emergency, quality of life discussions or euthanasia we will make arrangements for owners to be with their pet on a case-by-case basis. If this is expected, please be sure that you are wearing a mask or face covering - we cannot allow any members of the public into the clinic without proper protective equipment.
- If your pet is in the hospital please do not leave the parking lot. We will communicate with you in the parking lot, by phone, or in person with proper distancing.
- We still have same-day appointments and work-in appointments. To limit the time you might have to sit in the car, please call ahead to let us know that you need to come in and what is the reason for your visit.
- We thank everyone for staying home for their safety. We have begun to change our staffing as the daily schedule allows. This means that we have limited our staff to provide the safest workplace possible. All of our staff is now wearing masks and washing their hands more regularly for your safety as recommended by the CDC. These steps are taken for everybody’s safety.
- Food and Medications for your pet are still in stock and available at Dearborn. We do ask that you support your local businesses at this time. We offer many of the same medications in our pharmacy and hospital at prices near, and many times better than, the on-line big box sites. You can use our on-line pharmacy or call in your order, and we can get it ready for you to pick up. We work directly with the food and pharmaceutical companies so we many times have products that are delayed or back-ordered on-line. We thank you for supporting your local animal hospital by purchasing from us. We will work with you to fill prescriptions for long term medications and schedule blood-work only as needed.
- We do recommend that you try to keep up with your annual exam, but most importantly your pet’s vaccines. A current Rabies vaccine is still required by law so please keep your pet up to date.
Please stay safe and if you need us we are here for you and your pet!
Your Veterinarians and Staff
Resources and Links:
Please continue to monitor your local news for further updates and policy changes on the Corona Virus!
Question of the Week: Can my Pet spread or contract COVID-19?
There has not been any documented transmission of COVID-19 from our domestic animals to humans.
However, just like all surfaces, if your pet is handled by someone who has contracted the Corona Virus, their fur/collar/leash can be considered a fomite (an object or material that can carry infection). It is recommended to continue practicing good hygiene when handling your pets by washing hands, and if you or a family member is ill, minimize their contact with your pet.
Please follow This Link to see the latest article by the American Animal Hospital Association that discusses the relationship between Companion Animals and the Corona Virus.