Members Only Resource – COVID-19 Information

Your IVMA leadership continues to stay vigilant to make sure you have access to current, relevant resources and the ability to connect with other veterinarians from IVMA to share ideas and best practices to navigate this challenge before us. We commit to evolving our actions as needed to better meet your needs as things develop and change. Veterinarians are well-positioned to bring good, accurate information to those we interact with and have a true, public health role to play during this time.

Thank you for all you do each and every day.

Best Practices for Your Clinic During COVID-19

  1. It is advisable to consider implementing virtual care. This can be done if you already have an existing veterinarian-client-patient-relationship with a patient. Click on the video link above for a 23 minutes training webinar to learn more about how to turn on veterinary telemedicine in your practice in 24 hours! Here is a link to more information on veterinary telehealth company options.
  2. It is advisable to offer curbside service for your patients where staff can go out and get the pet for its appointment. This can protect your staff, your clients and honor social distancing to restrict the spread of germs. Drop off service for your clients and patients is another great option to consider.
  3. Click here for a sample email template you can use to connect with your clients.
  4. Click here for guidelines from AVMA to determine how to minimize COVID-19 exposure as it relates to elective cases.
  5. More information about these programs can be found on the AVMA webpage dedicated to COVID-19.
  6. Here is a link to more information on veterinary telehealth company options.

Veterinary Medicine Deemed an “Essential Service” – More Information

Governor Holcomb issued an Executive Order yesterday that Hoosiers “Stay at Home”, 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.
Best practices during this time may include the following:
Practice social distancing, as required by the Executive Order. This includes 6′ distances and having hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers.
  1. Prioritize appointments to encourage clients to adhere to the stay at home directive and conserve supplies and PPE. Postpone routine/elective surgeries and appointments. Consider the viability of offering veterinary telemedicine to clients with whom you have a current VCPR.
  2. Communicate new protocols to clients. This can be done on your social media pages and/or client emails.
  3. Consider shifting hours of operation and streamlining your staff resources.
  4. Provide curbside care for your clients. This can include having clients call the clinic when they arrive, and the staff comes out to pick up the patient. This eliminates clients in your practice. It protects you, your staff and your clients.
  5. While IVMA is unaware of a specific requirement to have work documentation when you or your staff are traveling to and from work, you might consider providing a letter for each of your staff on your letterhead as a precaution.
  6. Communicate and check in on your staff regularly – veterinary medicine can work through and solve these challenges together!
AVMA provides this guiding document to assist with minimizing COVID-19 exposure as it relates to elective cases. Click here.
Click here for a sample employee/staff letter during the “Stay at Home” Executive Order.
Click here for information from the State Board of Animal Health.
Click here for a copy of the Executive Order issued on March 23, 2020.

Latest Information

1. IVMA is monitoring information released daily regarding resources available for veterinarians. The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters.The SBA is providing information for disaster relief funding. Click here. They have provided a step by step document to submit an application. Click here

President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act into law March 18, providing additional economic relief to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Act contains provisions for paid leave for employees, tax credits for business owners, COVID-19 testing, unemployment insurance, and additional funding for government programs. The new law will be effective no later than April 2. IVMA will continue to monitor next steps to assist IVMA members. Click here to learn more about the Act.

2. Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced Executive Orders yesterday during these unprecedented times. Some areas of interest:  
State of Emergency Extension
  • The Governor will extend the current state of emergency an additional 30 days when it expires on April 5.
 K-12 Schools
  • All K-12 public schools will remain closed until May 1. Non-public schools are also ordered closed. This date may be revised to extend through the end of the 2019-2020 school year if circumstances warrant.
  • All-state mandated assessments will be canceled for the current academic year. The governor has contacted U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to share the state’s plan and also has asked the Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick to pursue any federal waivers needed to cancel the requirements for accountability, chronic absenteeism and state-mandated assessments.
 Economy
  • The state of Indiana will align with the federal government to delay state income tax payments from April 15 to July 15. The U.S. Treasury extended the deadline to pay federal income tax by 90 days.
  • Penalties will be waived for 60 days for property tax paid after May 11. The state will work with counties that may experience cash flow stress because of the delay.
  • The state will not immediately move forward with using $300 million in reserves to pay for several capital projects approved in the just-concluded legislative session and instead maintain flexibility to utilize the funds as needed for relief efforts and to maintain current services. The state will consider using bonding authority to move forward with the just-approved capital projects.
  • Providers of essential utility services such as gas and electric, broadband, telecom, water and wastewater services are prohibited from discontinuing service to any customer during the public health emergency.
  • The state’s application to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was approved on Wednesday. This program provides targeted, low-interest loans of up to $2 million to help small businesses and nonprofits overcome the temporary loss of revenue as a result of coronavirus. See more at SBA.gov/Disaster.
 Unemployment Insurance Benefits
  • The state will interpret Indiana’s unemployment laws to the broadest extent possible to cover Hoosiers who are out of work because of COVID-19.
  • Benefits will be paid to individuals who file their initial unemployment claims late.
  • The Department of Workforce Development will allow individuals to continue to accrue unemployment eligibility if they take work leave because of COVID-19.
  • DWD will seek federal authorization to provide unemployment benefits for those who are not otherwise eligible for unemployment, such individuals who have recently started a job.
  • For employers, DWD will not assess certain experience rate penalties because of employees who receive unemployment benefits because of COVID-19.
 Housing
  • No residential eviction proceedings or foreclosure actions may be initiated during the public health emergency. This does not relieve the individual of obligations to pay rent or mortgage payments.
  • All public housing authorities are requested to extend deadlines for housing assistance recipients and required documentation to show eligibility for housing programs.
  • The Indiana Department of Financial Institutions and Indiana Community Housing Development Authority are required to work with financial institutions to identify tools to help promote housing stability.
 Insurance
  • The commissioner of the state Department of Insurance will request that insurers institute a 60-day moratorium on policy cancellations for non-payment of premiums. This does not suspend a policyholder’s obligation to make payments.
  • The commissioner will ask health insurers to cover COVID-19 testing without requiring prior authorization.
    The commissioner will request that health insurers not increase prices or coverage costs that involve medical care for COVID-19.

 

IVMA Q&A sessions regarding veterinary telemedicine with Dr. Aaron Smiley and Dr. Matt Cantrell

03/19/2020

03/18/2020

IVMA Town Hall

Moment of Zen
Caring for yourself is most important.

Take a deep breath.

Click here for how to meditate – being mindful – healthy mind = healthy life

Click here for top 10 instant moments of Zen

Click here for a 3-minute YouTube video to provide a few moments of zen.

Click here how to stop, breathe, listen and connect during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Click here 3 Science backed ways to calm down when you are overwhelmed.

Calm App is another great way to help calm your anxieties; meditations, breathing exercises and much more…

Important Links

We understand the business impact to veterinary practices in Indiana.

The coronavirus response business toolkit: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce put together a toolkit to help businesses and citizens alike understand how to navigate the coronavirus. There are guidelines on how small business owners can ensure they are keeping their customers and employees safe. The toolkit also includes a business preparedness checklist. This checklist can help you figure out what to prioritize and create a plan of communication for your employees.

 Disaster assistance loans from the SBA:  The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced it would offer disaster assistance loans for up to $2 million for small businesses affected by the coronavirus. These low-interest loans are available to businesses that have sustained “substantial economic injury” due to the spread of the coronavirus. These loans can be used to pay off outstanding debts, payroll and any other bills they are unable to pay. While small businesses that have access to credit are not eligible, those small businesses with no available credit qualify for an interest rate of 3.75%, and nonprofits will have an interest rate of 2.75%.

 Disaster Help Desk for small businesses:  The U.S. Chamber Foundation has a disaster help desk that acts as an information concierge to assist small businesses with disaster readiness, relief, and long-term recovery. They also have a business resiliency toolbox with resources to help guide companies to address preparedness issues while building in flexibility to handle potential business interruptions.

*Caring for your staff is critical. Learn more at the IVMA COVID-19 web page.

Click here for a document that covers some of the most frequently asked questions regarding veterinary telemedicine.

Click here for a brief webinar regarding veterinary telemedicine.

Click here to learn more as the AVMA continues to monitor actions at the federal level.
 
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