Dear FVH Client,
As many of you are already aware, the COVID-19 virus continues to be a topic of concern in WA state. With the first confirmed case of the virus in Bellingham diagnosed yesterday, local health authorities are encouraging vigilance in reducing additional transmission within our community and beyond. Our Veterinarians and veterinary nursing staff met this morning to discuss measures to protect ourselves and you, the clients we serve.
The good news is that as a veterinary hospital we are already vigilant in preventing the spread of infectious disease in our cat and dog patients. Many of the disinfecting agents and cleaning protocols we already have in place give us a leg up on preventing transmission of COVID-19. Beginning today, we are implementing additional measures to protect you and us:
- Social Distancing– Our veterinarians and nursing team are still caring and friendly, but please don’t be upset if we don’t offer to shake hands or can’t provide that comforting hug as you deal with those more emotional visits. This will pain us as much as you since our staff is very much emotionally invested in your furry family members.
- Enhanced Disinfecting– Our team will provide extra disinfecting of exam room chairs, door handles and common entry ways continuously throughout the day.
- Protect High Risk Groups– Clients advanced in age, immune-compromised, or who are actively exhibiting signs of cough, fever, or nasal discharge are asked to notify us when scheduling an appointment. We will retrieve your pet and escort them into our hospital to complete the exam while you remain in your car. The Veterinarian will provide communication with you via a cell phone. For our more fearful patients, we will customize a plan of action to alleviate any distress experienced while not in your company.
- Drive-In Prescription Pickup- We are more than happy to come out to your car if you just need to pick-up medications, simply give us a call as you arrive to our parking area and someone will come out to assist you. You might also consider utilizing our online store for direct mailing of prescription refills and pet food straight to your home.
- Employee Wellness- Staff have all been advised not to come to work in the event of any upper respiratory symptoms. Many of these employees may simply be experiencing common colds, but we would like to err on the side of caution at this time. This may mean we are understaffed, but the hospital will remain open. In the event of reduced staffing, our primary focus will be for sick patients only. Please bear with us as we triage incoming patient requests and prioritize the most critical cats and dogs for scheduling.
Hopefully, these measures will only be short-lived and a return to normalcy will present itself over the next many weeks. Until that time, we thank you for your patience and the trust you place in us to care for your beloved pets. Together we will make it through this trying time.
Michael Bellis, Hospital Administrator