As things change, both in the epidemiology of COVID-19 and our approach to containment, re-assessment of how we practice veterinary medicine and COVID-19 protection is important. The latest iteration of our guidance document has been released: COVID-19: A Guide to Reopening Veterinary Medicine in Ontario, Stage 3. As for the previous versions, this is a guide, not a standard – meaning it’s a document of recommendations and considerations, not a “standard of care.”
The guidance is designed for Ontario veterinary clinics, but much of it applies more broadly as well. Balancing the need to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk and the need to deliver practical, effective and efficient veterinary care is a challenge (I assume, as always, that I will get an earful of complaints from both sides of the spectrum). A lot of factors need to be considered when deciding what to do in a particular clinic, including the epidemiology of COVID-19 in the region, clinic layout, clinic size, presence of high-risk individuals in the clinic, and risk aversion just to name a few. This document outlines the issues and some of the possible approaches, and hopefully will help clinics tailor their practices to find the right balance for them.
Previous versions of the guidance and other related documents can be found on the Worms & Germs COVID-19 Veterinary Resources page.