01 Apr PVMA and COVID-19- Info and Practice Resources
Please visit the Community News Section for updates: www.portlandvma.org/community-news
Update: May 1, 2020
Guidance on Resumption of Non-Emergent and Elective Procedures in Veterinary Facilities
On March 19, 2020, Governor Brown issued Executive Order No. 20-10 to cancel all elective and non-urgent health care procedures that require personal protective equipment (PPE) effective March 23, 2020.
On April 27, 2020, Governor Brown issued Executive Order No. 20-22, which allows veterinary facilities to resume elective and non-emergent procedures that require PPE, starting May 1, 2020, if the criteria in this Oregon Health Authority (OHA) guidance can be met.
Authority: Executive Order No. 20-22, ORS 433.443, ORS 431A.010. Applicability: This guidance is applicable to veterinary facilities.
Update: April 1, 2020
From the Boardroom-
As I sit to write this note to my fellow PVMA Members, I think about how much our world has changed and in such a short course of time.
Strangely enough I was planning on writing to you today about an earthquake preparedness event we were organizing for May, featuring TED speaker Steve Eberlein. And then a different kind of disaster hit that has back-burnered earthquake preparedness for the time being.
Needless to say “Pandemic Preparedness” was not on our radar, but now that we are in the middle of this mess, it is wonderful to see how truly resilient the veterinary community is.
We are a small but powerful group. We are determined to keep our doors open to provide the care our patients need to stay free from pain and suffering, all the while adapting to limitations placed on us to fully support our human medicine counterparts. We are adept in balancing the needs of our patients, our staff, and our clients.
These next few weeks to months will be challenging for everyone. Things will continue to change and I know we will quickly adapt.
Our goals are to provide you with the most up-to-date information about this ever-evolving crisis, and to offer guidance on how “best” to respond. The PVMA Board will do all we can to keep our members unified, informed, and supported through these times.
We have set up a weekly virtual meeting with the area emergency veterinary hospitals to keep our finger on the pulse of the front lines. We will relay any pertinent information to our area hospitals so that we can all function in support of each other. Things will inevitably get worse before they get better.
Cristina has been working non-stop to keep our website up to speed. On our PVMA home page there are now direct links to COVID-19
updates as it pertains to our members. Last week we partnered with the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association and Washington State
Veterinary Medical Association to provide an online webinar (1st of a series) on “Leadership Through Crisis” from the Omni Practice
Group and will be hosting our own “Calm in the time of COVID-19” panel of trusted partners, this Thursday at 5pm.
We will continue to look at opportunities to keep you informed and educated. Stay safe everyone. Reach out if you need help, advice, or
assistance in any way.
Dr. Laura Lambruschi
PVMA President Elect
Update: March 23, 2020
With today’s governor’s order ‘Stay home, save lives’ I do understand it may be confusing to not see veterinary hospitals and shelters spelled out, however the way it is interpreted by leadership is that until the governor/government says otherwise, veterinary hospitals and shelters are considered under the umbrella of ‘essential businesses’. Your clients making their way to/from you would be doing so legally.
Please know, there could be addendums at any time, there may be supportive documents and details coming out, but this is where things are right now.
Executive Order: Stay Home Except for Essential Needs
On March 23, Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-12, effective immediately until further notice. This is a statewide order. Failure to comply with the order will be considered an immediate danger to public health.
Update: March 19, 2020
Late yesterday, Governor Kate Brown directed all Oregon hospitals, outpatient clinics, and health care providers, including veterinarians and dentists, to cease all non-emergency procedures, in order to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE), such as surgical masks, gowns, and gloves, for health care workers treating COVID-19 patients.
Information provided by the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA):
What does this mean for veterinary practices?
Stop any elective surgical procedures that use PPE, which is exam gloves, sterile gloves, masks, gowns, or any other barrier used in medical practice. You may want to reschedule those procedures for 6-8 weeks out but keep in mind they may need to be rescheduled again if her order remains in place at that time.
The definition of “elective” can vary according to client and practitioner but, in general, elective surgeries include spays and neuters, dental cleanings, and any other care that could be deferred without causing pain or suffering to our patients. Medical problems that cause patient discomfort that can only alleviated by a procedure needing PPE are not “elective.”
Patient care, including examinations and vaccinations, can continue as they do not require PPE but practitioners should use discretion regarding unnecessary clinic traffic and interpersonal contact due to the mandate of social distancing. Read information and guidelines on this.
It’s important to remember that veterinarians will not necessarily be allocated any additional PPE in the near future so your current inventory may be all that is available to you for now. Read about conservation and re-use strategies.
From the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board (OVMEB):
Governor Kate Brown has determined that compliance with certain portions of OAR 875-015-0035 (Veterinary Telemedicine) would prevent, hinder, or delay mitigation of the effects of the COVID-19 emergency. Pursuant to her emergency powers under ORS 401.168(2), Governor Brown therefore declares and orders that portions of these rules be suspended for the duration of the COVID-19 state of emergency declared by Executive Order 20-03.
Effective immediately and until further notice. This means that veterinarians have the option to provide treatment via Veterinary Telemedicine without first having conducted a physical exam. Please note that all other portions of the rule continue to apply.
Update: March 17, 2020
This is a challenging time for all but we are in this together! As things continue to evolve with COVID-19 and new information and recommendations are coming out each day, no doubt we are all doing what we can to navigate the situation as best we can. Below, please find a list of resource links to address ongoing conversations and specific situations.
Please note: Information and protocols have been changing rapidly so these general recommendations may get revised many times over the coming days and weeks. At this time, veterinary services are considered ‘essential business’ so it is an individual business decision how you decide to move forward with providing/limiting services.
Upcoming Webinar: COVID-19 in Veterinary and Animal Group Settings: Protecting People and Animals– presented by Virox- 11am -Thursday, March 19th
General Info and Updates
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
World Health Organization (WHO)- Rolling updates on coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Resources
What to do if you are sick and suspect COVID-19
Veterinary Profession/Business Info and Resources
Updated AVMA email with toolkits
OSHA’s Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (PDF)
EPA’s Registered Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the Cause of COVID-19
World Organization for Animal Health- Questions and Answers on the 2019 Coronavirus Disease
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Supply Chain Update
WSVMA’s client letter template
WSVMA COVID-19 Info and Resource Page
OVMA COVID-19 Info and Resource Page
AVMA COVID-19 Resources
World Small Animal Veterinary Association COVID-19 and Pets
Uncharted Podcast: COVID-10 Planning for your Practice
Families First Coronavirus Response Act: What are the New Time Off Obligations that Covered Employers must Address?
Interim Guidance on Shelter Care of Animals Exposed to COVID-19
Your Pets Unlikely to Get or Give Coronavirus – WebMD, March 3, 2020
Veterinarians face effects of coronavirus outbreak – VIN, March 3, 2020
Coronaviruses Commonly Seen In Domestic Livestock – Texas A&M, March 3, 2020
A dog has a ‘low-level’ coronavirus infection – Washington Post, March 4, 2020
Idexx Sees No COVID-19 Cases in Pets – Idexx, March 13, 2020
8 Questions Employers Should Ask About Coronavirus – Harvard Business Review, March 2, 2020
For answers to general questions about coronavirus: 5 Things Everyone Should Know About the Coronavirus – Yale Medicine, March 12, 2020
A big thank you to WSVMA, OVMA, AVMA, and the many others who have compiled information and resources, many of which are included above, as well as PVMA members who have shared resources in the PVMA Member Veterinarian FaceBook Group.
Update: March 12, 2020
In light of the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to ensure we are doing our part to help minimize the spread of the virus, especially to those family and community members that are most vulnerable. We have decided to cancel our March 12th General Membership Meeting and the 2020 PVMA Wellness Symposium scheduled for April 19th. The Symposium is a highly interactive event with over 175 attendees, so it would be difficult to ensure the safety of all those involved.
We are grateful for the support of our sponsors as well as the Oregon Zoo. We will be working on issuing refunds to those who have registered to attend, as well as refunds to our sponsors.
The PVMA Board of Directors will be working on ways we can still provide CE and other support to our community members while social-distancing is recommended. At this time, we will move forward with holding our small workshops (25 people or less) at the PVMA office in the coming weeks. Again, this may change but we will continue to provide communications as needed. It will likely take some time before we know if rescheduling our larger events will be an option or if we will host some small-scale wellness events in lieu of the symposium this year.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all navigate this together.
Considerations for PVMA Event Attendees
As things continue to evolve with COVID-19 in the state and across the country, we are closely monitoring the situation. At this time, we plan to hold all of our upcoming events as planned but do ask for some help from those who plan to attend them. Risk mitigation will emphasize respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene, and possibly social distancing.
Please find suggestions from the Oregon Health Authority and the Center for Disease Control regarding personal risk reduction that we encourage our community members to follow:
· Please stay home from PVMA events if you (or anyone close to you) are sick.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
· If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
· Avoid contact with sick people.
· Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
· In public, stay a little farther away from people than usual to help reduce the spread of infection.
· We encourage attendees to greet each other without shaking hands or hugging.
· There is no current recommendation in the United States for well people to wear protective masks while in public spaces.
· CDC Flier on Protecting Yourself from Illness at a Public Event– While this flier specifically refers to influenza, the precautions also apply to COVID-19
· Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Resources- For ongoing local updates.