First of all, we want to assure you that ECO is still here and operating daily to provide comprehensive equine health care to our clients and their horses. Our 24/7 emergency services will continue. We also plan to continue our routine operations for other care such as our Wellness clinics. Below are guidelines that we ask you to follow and the protocols that we are putting in place to protect our and your health.
Our staff has been instructed to follow the CDC guidelines. This means that anyone having the symptoms of a cold and/or fever are not to report to work and to alert us immediately.
As equine veterinarians, we are always cognizant of the threat of disease spread within the horse population. Thorough hand washing, disinfection of equipment and clothing are not foreign to us. We are now confronted with a virus that spreads human to human via contact with an infected person. The role of contact with an inanimate object contaminated by the virus is considered a possibility. We will increase our diligence in contagion control to reduce any possible role that we may play in any potential spread of the disease.
Here are ways that you can help us insure everyone’s health safety:
1. We ask that if you have cold or flu-like symptoms that you cancel or delay your appointment until at least 72 hours after your symptoms subside.
2. If you are ill and your horse needs attention, please notify us of this fact so that we can be sure to bring an assistant with us. An acceptable substitute for your presence would be someone who has not had prior contact with you for a minimum of 5 days. If your situation demands, this agent should have the ability to authorize treatment and payment of fees.
3. If you are physically unable to attend an appointment but well enough for us to consult, we will contact you immediately upon completion of our examination as to diagnosis, potential costs of treatment and your agreement to proceed. If possible, please let us know in advance the best way to immediately contact you. If contact information is not available before our arrival then your agent must have your contact information. Our ability to contact you is imperative, especially is your agent does not have the power to authorize procedures. Your mode of contact needs to be reliable and immediate as we will not proceed with treatment without your consent. Time is precious in any situation. We ask you to be prepared.
4. We ask that people not directly associated with the subject animal(s) be discouraged or barred. If people besides owners or designated agents must be present, we will require them to adhere to the six feet of separation rule unless directly involved in the diagnosis and treatment. Our strong preference is that no one other than those directly involved in decision making be present.
5. Unnecessary physical contact between our staff and yourselves will be discouraged. Hand shakes will not be offered.
6. Supplies or prescriptions that are to be picked up at the clinic will be placed in boxes or bags in the breezeway in front of the treatment area.
7. We ask that if you must enter the clinic that you will maintain the six feet of separation.
We also want to assure you that there is no evidence at this time that this virus in any way has originated in equines or that they play any role in its spread. However, we would ask that if you are symptomatic for flu-like disease that you not handle your horses for at least 24 hours prior to our visit. If this is not possible then we ask that you notify our office or the attending staff of this fact so that proper precautions can be taken.
This is certainly an unprecedented time. ECO’s mission to serve the horse and his owner is still strong and in place. Our desire is to continue on while protecting the health of our staff and clients.