AUGUST 24 – WELCOMING OUR WONDERFUL CLIENTS BACK INSIDE
We are continuing to operate with curbside service to keep our team and clients safe, and reduce the risk of another COVID-19 exposure and clinic closure. However…
After a successful summer trial of in-person appointments, we are happy to publicly announce that we are inviting one COVID-screened and masked owner per appointment to accompany their pet inside (if desired) for exams with a veterinarian, discharges from surgery, and medical demonstrations with a Registered Veterinary Technician.
If you would like to participate:
- Submit the online Pre-Appointment Form (www.bloorcourtvetclinic.com/preappointment) or Day of Surgery Form (www.bloorcourtvetclinic.com/surgeryform) BEFORE arriving for your pet’s appointment. This includes mandatory COVID-19 screening questions and gathers essential information to make your in-person discussion more effective and efficient.
- For everyone’s safety, we will provide curbside service to anyone with COVID or contagious disease symptoms, a household COVID case within 10 days, or recent exposure to COVID
- Come alone to your pet’s appointment (euthanasia excepted for compassionate reasons).
- If that isn’t possible, we continue to provide curbside service for groups of 2+
- Wear a well-fitting n95 or medical mask over your nose and mouth throughout your entire appointment.
- We can provide a mask. If you would prefer not to wear a mask, we can continue to serve you curbside.
- Phone us to check-in when you arrive, and notify the receptionist that you would like to accompany your pet inside
- Dress for the weather (both you & your pet) – we may not have room in our reception area for you to wait, and cannot escort you inside the exam room until your doctor’s previous appointment has exited the clinic and we have sanitized the room. (However, if you arrive early, PLEASE call and notify us so that we can bring your pet inside to wait!)
- Sanitize your hands as soon as you enter the clinic
- Stand back from our team members when possible to reduce exposure
- Our exam rooms are small and have no windows (for pet safety), so we may take your pet to our treatment area for procedures in order to reduce contact time
For a short time longer, food and medication pickups, veterinarian appointments that do not include an exam charge (such as split vaccines and post-dental rechecks), surgical discharges, and veterinary technician appointments (other than medical demonstrations) will continue to operate curbside only. Please:
- Call us when you arrive; our front door will remain closed
- Wear a well-fitting face mask that fully covers your nose and mouth when interacting with our team
For all appointments and visits, we ask you to please:
- Pay by debit or credit card whenever possible
- Continue to be kind, patient and understanding as we adjust our procedures. Every change brings potential growing pains, but we are doing our best to help your pet.
As always, our COVID safety policies are subject to change if the public health situation evolves.
At this time the one owner per appointment limit is still needed due to our small exam rooms and long exam times, which result in extended close exposures for our veterinarians and technicians all day every day. When we lose doctors and technicians to COVID infections, it has a significant impact on our patients, as we have to cancel essential surgeries and appointments, and are unable to see emergencies. Thank you for your support and understanding.
Your friends at Bloorcourt Veterinary Clinic
CURRENT POLICY HIGHLIGHTS
(see below for additional details & procedures):
Our Doors Closed Hearts Open policy remains in effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we are only able to allow PETS inside the clinic. (We are now inviting COVID-screened and masked owners inside for certain types of appointments, as described above, and have always had a compassionate exception for euthanasia).
Our front doors will remain locked during business hours – please call us at 416-537-9677 when you arrive. If possible, wait in your car until we ask you to meet us at the door. Please put your mask on over your nose and mouth before our team members come outside to serve you.
Please be sure to complete our MANDATORY online pre-appointment concerns & symptoms form or surgery admission form BEFORE coming in.
Please be kind to our team – operating under these restrictions is difficult for us as well.
We are taking these precautions to ensure we can stay open to help pets in need. Our team is so specialized and works so closely together that even a single COVID-19 exposure and quarantine can require us to cancel appointments and surgeries, and reduce our services.
For the safety of our team and the community, we ask that you not come in to the clinic if:
- You are experiencing symptoms of any contagious illness, especially fever, cough or respiratory difficulties
- You have tested positive for COVID within the past 10 days,
- You have been advised to self-isolate, or
- You live with or have been exposed to anyone that falls in one of these categories.
If any of these statements describe your situation, please try to have a friend or family member bring your pet in instead. If this is not possible, reach out to us by phone so that we can make a plan together for your pet. For everyone’s protection, we are applying these rules to our staff members too.
New Procedures and Requests:
Help us serve you and your pets better during these unusual times!
- Call in advance for food and medication pick-ups, so we can have those waiting for you. Phone us when you arrive and we will meet you at the door with them. We can deliver some non-urgent medications within Toronto for free if you have a secure place for our delivery person to leave them – ask us for details!
- Payments: We can take credit card payments over the phone, or can bring a portable debit terminal to you at the door. From March 2021 onwards we can also securely store your credit card details to speed up future check-outs, and can send e-invoices for payment online. Except in extreme circumstances, cash is not currently accepted.
- Call us from your car or outside when you arrive for your pet’s appointment. We will come to the door to collect your pet from you, and the doctor or technician will phone you during your pet’s exam. Please complete our online pre-appointment form before exams, and our surgery admission form before surgical drop-offs, and ensure you have a fully charged cell phone with you so that we can speak with you while we are examining your pet. Alternatively, you can return home and we can speak with you on your home phone.
- Dress yourself and your pets for the weather! If you don’t have a car to wait in, dress warmly if it’s cold, and bring an umbrella if rain is in the forecast. Be sure your pup has a jacket if necessary, and your cats have blankets in their carriers to keep warm, and over their carriers to make the sights and sounds on the sidewalk less scary. If you are early, please call us so we can bring your pet in as soon as you arrive.
- Order your pet’s food and supplies online on our WebStore, and take advantage of our home delivery option – especially if you are feeling ill or have traveled recently. We pay for FREE Home delivery by Purolator for orders over $100 before tax, and delivery is only $10 for smaller orders. Just ask us to register you, or create an account for yourself right now at www.myvetstore.ca/bloorcourt.
March 13, 2020 COVID-19 Statement:
How Bloorcourt Veterinary Clinic is Responding to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Concerns
As concerns arise surrounding the development of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to assure all of our clients that we are closely monitoring the situation and taking steps to minimize the risk of transmission of this, or any other seasonal illness, to our clients and team members.
Working in a veterinary hospital environment, with both people and animals entering our workspace regularly, disease transmission and limiting the risk for the spread of contagious illness is something that we have always taken very seriously. In fact, the hospital disinfectant that we have used diligently for many years kills Coronavirus among numerous other bacteria and viruses that are relevant to our specific veterinary environment. We would, therefore, like to take this opportunity to inform our clients of the various steps that we have taken and will continue to take, as well as new and specific measures that we are adopting in order to minimize the risk to you and your pet when visiting our clinic, in order to keep you both healthy and safe.
WHAT WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE
Disinfecting Exam Rooms: After every use of an exam room, the exam table is wiped down on all surfaces with a disinfectant that kills both bacteria and viruses relevant to our veterinary environment. Floors are swept and when soiled, mopped, also with a disinfectant. This same disinfectant which will continue to be in use also has labeled effectiveness against Coronavirus.
Disinfecting the Floor: At the end of each day, our floors are thoroughly mopped with disinfectant.
Disinfecting Equipment: Any equipment that gets used during the course of an appointment is thoroughly wiped down with disinfectant prior to its next use. Any equipment used during the course of a surgical procedure is thoroughly cleaned with a disinfectant prior to being either autoclaved (high temperature/high-pressure sterilization) or gas sterilized (using ethylene oxide) prior to its next usage.
Practice Good Hygiene: All team members wash their hands thoroughly after handling any patient, whether that patient is sick or not. We also make hand sanitizer available for clients at our reception desk to use at their own discretion.
Practice Appropriate Self-Isolation: As with many other businesses, when team members are sick with symptoms of any illness, they are encouraged to remain home in order to not infect either clients or others in their work environment.
Isolate Patients With Known Contagious Illness: Whenever we have a patient arrive with a known or suspected contagious illness, we ensure that they are brought directly into an exam room (if one is available), rather than being asked to sit in the reception area until their appointment time.
Quarantining Exam Rooms: When a patient presents with an illness or suspected illness that is contagious to other animals (which COVID-19, Human Coronavirus is not) the entire exam room and all surfaces in it are wiped down with a disinfectant and the room is taken out of use for 24 hours.
Online Purchase of Food and Products: We have a very robust webstore, through which any food or product that we sell in-clinic, as well as thousands of others can be purchased and delivered directly to your door if you are feeling unwell and unable to come into the clinic. Please ask us if you would like us to set up an account to take advantage of this service.
Review and Adapt: As new and better disinfectant products become available, or as new infectious agents emerge and become relevant, we are constantly reviewing and adapting our disinfection protocol to stay current and keep our hospital environment as safe as it can be.
NEW STEPS WE ARE TAKING
Hand Hygiene: We are kindly requesting that every client who visits us either washes their hands or uses the hand sanitizer provided at our reception desk, upon arriving at the clinic.
Increased Cleaning and Disinfecting: All surfaces or objects that are handled frequently (doorknobs, countertops, etc) will now be wiped down with a disinfectant multiple times daily and tracked internally for consistency.
Alternate Care Options: We are currently investigating with the College of Veterinarians of Ontario what flexibility we have in relation to providing care for patients who may not be able to attend the clinic directly because their owners are ill. There are some options that enable us to provide certain care in this setting already, and we will continue to work to make any and all options available to our clients in order to continue to provide care for you and your four-legged friends, within our regulatory framework.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Stay Home If You’re Sick: If you’re feeling unwell or experiencing symptoms of any contagious illness, including Coronavirus, please inform us as soon as possible so that we can reschedule your appointment. Alternatively, you may find a friend or family member that is able to bring your pet in for their scheduled appointment.
Help Us Build New Community Norms Around Hygiene: Our best defense against all infectious diseases is to modify our hygiene practices, both individually and as a collective.
Ask Us Your Questions: Our team is committed to supporting the health and well being of your pet within an environment that is safe for both them and for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of our team members if you have questions about our hospital policies and protocols as they relate to these issues.
Your friends at Bloorcourt Veterinary Clinic