March 24, 2022: Update on Welcoming You Back Inside
Thank you for your patience and support with our COVID-19 safety policies. We know they have been challenging, but they have also been very effective in helping us remain open to help your pets – since 2020 we have only had to severely restrict our hours and services 2 times due to staff exposure to COVID-19.
We understand many of you are anxious to join your pets in person at their exams again, and we want to assure you that we are looking forward to this too, and are working toward it.
However, we ask for your patience a bit longer, as we make a robust plan for safely welcoming you inside again. This is not a simple matter, as our exam rooms are very small and the doors must be closed for pet safety, which restricts ventilation and physical distancing. While the individual exposure risk is small for each owner coming inside, the cumulative risk is very large for the doctors, vet techs and assistants that see dozens of patients every day, and spend 10 to 40 minutes in a small closed exam room with each patient’s owner.
Since our medical staff are highly specialized, even a single COVID-19 exposure and quarantine can force us to cancel appointments and surgeries and restrict our services. Each time this happens, we see how hard it is on our patients and their owners. Our cautious COVID-19 approach isn’t just to keep our team safe – it protects our most vulnerable patients at the moment when they need us most. Each of us works here because we love animals, and it crushes our souls when we are unable to help a pet that is sick or in pain.
To minimize this risk, we kindly ask you to continue wearing a mask when having close discussions at the door with our team. We will continue wearing masks in the clinic and when communicating with you.
Please also continue to be kind when interacting with our staff, and remember that we care for your pets and are doing our best to help them. We have a zero tolerance policy for abuse of any kind.
Thank you for your understanding and support, and we look forward to sharing an update with you soon.
Your friends at Bloorcourt Vet 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 make 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 are within the 14-day self-quarantine period following any travel outside of Canada,
- 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.
- 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