With the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19, there are a lot of questions pertaining to our pets, are vets an essential business, and how they may be affected by the mandatory closure of all non-essential businesses in the NY/NJ/PA Tri-State area.
First, we want you to know that Governor Murphy of New Jersey has deemed veterinary practices an essential business and provided an exception so that we may remain open. Pets are an integral part of our lives and provide comfort and companionship – something that is even more important during a time of crisis and social distancing such as we are experiencing today. This also includes farm calls to our existing customers – please know we are here to help.
Next, even while we remain open, we are taking very strict precautions to keep our staff, clients and their pets safe and healthy and do our part to help flatten the curve and curb the spread of the coronavirus known as COVID-19. These processes are listed below.
– updated as of 3/20/20
Yes, vets are an essential business. We are remaining open to provide you and your pets with essential veterinary care. However, to ensure the continued well-being of our clients and staff members, we are limiting interactions inside the building. We have been frequently disinfecting high traffic areas & surfaces, and we do have hand sanitizer available for all of our clients.
Please call first! Whether you need to schedule an appointment or have an emergency, calling first will alert our team that you are on the way so that we are best prepared to help upon your arrival with your pet. The front door is remaining locked at this time to limit interactions and the potential spread of the virus – so calling us is essential!
*For clients picking up food or medications:
- We ask you please stay in your vehicle and call us at 973-579-1155 to let us know that you have arrived and we will come to you.
- Please give us your payment information over the phone when you call. One of our receptionists will then bring your items and receipt to you in your vehicle.
- If you need to pay by cash or check, please have the amount ready when you arrive and we will pick up payment outside at your vehicle when we bring the food or medications to you.
*For clients arriving for scheduled appointments:
- Upon your arrival, please remain in your vehicle and call us at 973-579-1155 to let us know that you are here.
- We will come outside to get your pet when an exam room is available, and ask you to please remain in your vehicle for the safety and health of all of our staff and other clients. Doing so will allow us to limit any interactions and help us do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 while still providing essential care for your pets.
- If you do not have a cell phone, please knock on the door (which is remaining locked for safety purposes at this time) and let us know that you have arrived. We will then have you wait in your car until an exam room is ready at which point we will come get your pet for their appointment.
*After completion of your pet’s appointment:
- If you have a mobile phone, we will contact you to let you know your pet has been seen and discuss with you all pertinent information from your pet’s exam.
- Any follow up, next steps, medications, or at-home instructions will be provided, and any paperwork or medications will be brought to your car with your pet.
- As always, payment is required at the time of service – we can take your payment information via phone if it is a credit or debit card, or we can take cash or check at your vehicle when we bring your pet back to you.
- If you have any questions or wish to speak to the veterinarian or vet tech that saw your pet, you do not need to come inside – we will make arrangements to have them speak with you via phone again to limit interactions that could potentially spread the virus.
We understand that this may be frustrating, however we ask for your patience in this matter as it allows us to assist in keeping the overall health of our community and pets as our primary focus during this challenging and unique time.
New Service! Veterinary Video Consults (VVC) via Skype
– available starting 3/23/20
In addition to limiting in-office interaction unless absolutely necessary, we’re also now offering VVC’s – Veterinary Video Consults – via the use of Skype technology. This allows us to address concerns and answer questions about your pet for minor issues and injuries without necessarily needing to physically come to the office. This helps further reduce in person interactions and limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
This is a new service, and appointments are still required as usual to ensure that our staff is able to be able to provide their undivided attention via video chat with you and your pet at the scheduled time.
Details on Veterinary Video Consults
- Appointments are required, just like with any other in-office non-emergency exam. Please call us at 973-579-1155 to schedule your appointment and specify when making the appointment that you would like a Veterinary Video Conference rather than an in-office exam.
- Once you have booked your appointment, we will provide you with the information on how to video conference us at the scheduled time.
- The cost is between $20 – $50 depending on the duration of the call and the depth of the situation for each individual pet. An estimate will be provided to you when you schedule your appointment, and payment is due at the time services are provided, as with any other appointment.
- If, during the video conference, it is deemed necessary for your pet to be seen in person, the VVC fee will be applied towards the in-office exam cost so you can rest assured you will not be double-charged.
- Please know that not all services can be provided via video consult – when you call to make your appointment it is important for you to let us know what is going on with your pet so that we can properly schedule you and ensure we’re able to help in the best way possible.
On our main Veterinary Video Consults services page, you can read more information including the types of issues we are able to assist with via video chat, what to expect, and more.
In addition to limiting interactions inside the building, we are also following the CDC’s guidelines for offices and workplaces. We already follow strict cleaning and disinfecting processes and hygiene practices around the clinic for the safety of all of our patients and clients. In addition, we’ve hired professional assistance with cleaning and disinfecting of all surfaces every Sunday. This is on top of everything we already do on a regular basis every single day in the clinic which includes wiping down all countertops, exam rooms, doorknobs, phones, veterinary tools and equipment, and more.
You can read more on our blog about what we’re doing about the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak and FAQs for you and your pets. There is also additional information from the CDC, WHO, and AVMA we have shared on our website that includes guidelines for pet owners during COVID-19.
We’re committed to providing you and your pets the ongoing service and veterinary healthcare we’re known for throughout this challenging time of the COVID-19 virus. We are closely monitoring the New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania websites for updates, news, and changes on a daily basis and assure you that we will continue to be here for you and your pets. We know they are family members too – and we want all of you and your family members to stay safe, and stay healthy.
You can also follow the news and updates right here on our practice website at CaringVets.com/News/COVID-19 and we are updating our website regularly as additional news and information becomes available.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you. We thank you for your understanding and look forward to serving you and your pets.