What Veterinarians Need To Know About COVID-19

Health officials across the U.S. and all over the world are on high alert due to COVID-19, a disease that causes flu-like symptoms in people, including mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Veterinary professionals are receiving questions from their clients and their teams. IVMA is providing the following information to assist.

UPDATE FROM AVMA – MARCH 27, 2020
The House of Representatives has just passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The President is expected to sign the bill into law very quickly.

Attached are three documents we have prepared.

  • Highlights of the FFCR Act and the CARES Act.
  • Section by Section Analysis of portion of the CARES Act most relevant to veterinary practice
  • FAQ on Small Business Loans

These documents will be up on the AVMA website, and will updated as more information comes out over the next few days.  There has been information to suggest that the Small Business Administration may have some guidance out very quickly.

CARES ACT SUMMARY SECTION BY SECTION – CLICK HERE

Section by Section Analysis of portion of the CARES Act most relevant to veterinary practice – CLICK HERE

FAQ ON SMALL BUSINESS LOANS – CLICK HERE 

Frequently Asked Questions

Has veterinary medicine been deemed an “Essential Business” during the Governor’s “Stay at Home” order?

Click here for the Governor’s Executive Order.

As you are likely aware, Indiana Veterinary Medical Association has been working diligently to provide its members with up-to-date information on topics effecting your practice. We have also been keeping contact with Indiana’s executives to ensure that, in the event a stay-at-home order was issued, our members, and the State’s animals, were protected.

Today Governor Holcomb issued Executive Order 20-08 – Directive for Hoosiers to Stay at Home.  That Executive Order is set to take effect on March 24, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. through April 6, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.  Under that Order, certain services, including Healthcare and Public Health Operations, which include “veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals,” are deemed “Essential Activities” and are encouraged to remain open.  Additionally, while individual travel is generally restricted, travel to and from those Essential Activities is permitted.  As a result, veterinary services are permitted to continue to be provided either in office or on-site.

What are the potential shortages of drugs and supplies?

AVMA writes the following: The AVMA is concerned about potential medical supply chain issues, including both pharmaceuticals (specifically active pharmaceutical ingredients [APIs]) and medical products, such as personal protective equipment. We have learned from FDA that there are 32 animal drug firms that make finished drugs or source active pharmaceutical ingredients in China for the United States market. The FDA has contacted all 32 firms and no shortages have been reported at this time. However, six of those firms have indicated that they are seeing disruptions in the supply chain that soon could lead to shortages. The FDA is working with these firms to help identify interventions to mitigate potential shortages. FDA has done similar work on the medical product/device side. An FDA webpage

has been created through which the FDA is sharing information around the availability of drugs and medical supplies. Because veterinarians use a substantial number of FDA-approved human drugs under federal extralabel drug use statute and regulations, shortages on the human side will be felt by veterinary medicine as well. Veterinarians are encouraged to send information regarding any supply chain issues of concern to the AVMA at coronavirus@avma.org. Detailed information on the product of concern and the manufacturer/distributor of that product will be most helpful.

What if an employee tests positive for COVID-19? What are my responsibilities?

Notify anyone whom the employee may have come in contact with, especially those who came within six feet for more than 10 minutes or been in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with COVID-19. Recommend they follow all COVID-19 guidelines as they pertain to exposure e.g. they should monitor their symptoms for 14 days since the date of last contact with the individual and should not go to work or school, and should avoid public places for 14 days. The most common symptoms of the disease are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Also, follow all cleaning recommendations.

What if a client comes in exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms such as a cough or fever?

Ask the client to reschedule their appointment until their health has recovered so they don’t spread the disease to others. Consider using a telemedicine platform to provide remote care to sick animals if they can be managed at home.

Do I have to shut down my clinic in the event one or more employees contract COVID-19?

At this time, there are no legal requirements to shut down businesses.

IVMA Resources

Implement Veterinary Telemedicine in Your Practice – Learn More

Sample listing of veterinary connected care companies – Learn More

Sample email template related to the Corona Virus to share with your clients – Click Here

State Agencies

Governor Holcomb Press Conference Information – March 16, 2020 – click here

Indiana Governor’s Office COVID-19 Information – Indiana State Department of Health

Indiana Department of Workforce Development – Employment Issues

Federal and Int’l Agencies

Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC)
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary
COVID-19 and Animals
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel
Information for Healthcare Professionals
Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities
Protect Yourself from Flu at a Large Public Event
Get Your Household Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Mitigation Strategies for Seattle-King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties (PDF)

OSHA
OSHA’s Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (PDF)

World Health Organization (WHO)
Rolling updates on coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
Questions and Answers on the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Environmental Protection Agency
EPA’s Registered Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the Cause of COVID-19

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