Even though COVID cases are increasing worldwide and nationally, locally cases are going down which is great news for Orange County! We are now on the less-restrictive Orange Tier.
What does that mean for our pet parents hoping to come into our hospital with their pets?
During the stay at home order, the California Department of Public Health and Cal/OSHA developed a guidance document which allowed us to remain open. This essentially exempted us from the tier status and mandated curbside service. This guidance document was last updated January 28th. I virtually attended a meeting with the SCVMA (Southern California Veterinary Medical Association), and on the call was a veterinarian with the Los Angeles Department of Public Health (Orange County lacks a public health veterinarian).
They expressed concerns about a fourth wave of cases occurring before enough people are vaccinated, especially with the uncertainty of the new variants. As such, they strongly advised us to continue following the guidance document and delivering services curbside exclusively, recommending that we revisit the situation in a month.
Needless to say, this is not the news that we wanted to hear. We want to see you. We want you to be present with your pets in our hospital. But we are obligated to follow the guidance document and recommendations from public health officials, and are subject to serious repercussions if we do not adhere to these guidelines and experience a COVID exposure. This really puts us in a difficult predicament.
We have been allowing clients to come in already for very specific cases such as euthanasia, end of life conversations, and demonstrations for performing certain treatments on pets at home such as allergy or insulin injections or administration of fluids under the skin. We plan on continuing this practice.
If you do want to talk with the doctor mask to mask, then we will try to accommodate you as much as possible. Please let our team members know when you bring your pet for their appointment and the doctor will make every attempt to discuss the exam findings and treatment plans with you outside if at all possible.
We deeply appreciate your cooperation and goodwill in this difficult time.
We cannot urge you strongly enough to wear masks, to distance where you can, and to get vaccinated so we can all get through this and be together again in our office.
We miss seeing you!
Dr. Horn and the OCVMC staff