COVID-19: A letter to our clients and community

Updated: March 18, 2020

Dear Community Members,

Tuesday morning we sent an announcement letting you know about the changes that were necessary to implement in order to keep our hospital functioning. We have since received additional information and advice which has led us to further modify our practices. Please realize that all of these practices are being implemented in order to ensure that we are able to continue to serve you and your four-legged family members.

The following is a summary of the important policies which we have implemented:

  1. We are unable to provide service to clients who are being treated for COVID-19, who are quarantined for possible exposure to COVID-19, or who are displaying any signs of respiratory infection.
  2. We are unable to allow clients to enter our building at any time. Clients are required to remain in their cars while our staff assesses their pets. Our doctors and nurses will call the client on their cell phone in order to obtain the history and to determine the plan. After this, one of our staff will come to your car to retrieve your pet and take your pet into our hospital to be evaluated and treated.
    • This means that we are not able to make any restrooms available for public use until the end of this crisis. No exceptions will be made. Since you might be waiting in your car for some time, you need to be prepared for the possibility that you will need to leave to go to the local WaWa, Wegmans, or other public places to use the restroom.
  3. Pets will be returned to you in your car following both inpatient and outpatient treatment. Clients will need to call our reception desk to make payment at the end of the visit. Clients will not be allowed to enter the building to make payment.
  4. We are unable to allow visitation of hospitalized pets until the end of this crisis.
  5. We will be rescheduling ‘non-essential’ appointments to a later time.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will follow any appropriate recommendations from federal, state, and local officials.

We have received many questions regarding the refills of medications. The following are the answers to the most basic questions:

  1. Hope Veterinary Specialists can only provide refills to prescriptions that were originally written by doctors at Hope and for which valid refills exist.
  2. 48 hours of notice are required to refill a prescription.
  3. When picking up a prescription, you will not be able to enter the building. Upon arrival, call (610) 296-2099 to make payment. A staff member will then place the medication on the sidewalk. Once the staff member has re-entered the building, the client can exit their vehicle and retrieve the medication.
  4. We are unable to fill prescriptions that were written by your primary veterinarian. Your veterinarian will need to call any such prescriptions into either a standard pharmacy or an on-line veterinary pharmacy. Absolutely no exceptions can be made to this policy.

We ask for your continued understanding and cooperation as we continue to navigate this truly unprecedented situation. With your assistance, we will continue to provide your pets with the care that they need.

Wishing you and your family health and safety,

Dennis Burkett, VMD, PhD, DACVECC, DACVIM (Cardiology)

Prior Post: 3/15/2020

Dear Community Members,

In the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Hope Veterinary Specialists remains committed to providing care to your four-legged family members. At the same time, we remain committed to the continued safety of our patients, staff, and clients.

As you can imagine, continuing to provide care 24 hours a day in the present crisis presents many challenges. Our hospital has been carefully monitoring recent developments and has developed a plan to respond to the crisis and to continue serving our patients and their families. Some of the steps that we have taken are the simple common-sense steps that you have seen from most businesses. In our hospital, those steps include:

  1. ) We are frequently wiping down all high touch common areas with disinfectants.
  2. ) Staff members are washing their hands for at least 20 seconds between each patient and following every client interaction.
  3. ) Staff members are no longer permitted to shake hands with clients.
  4. ) The complimentary drink and snack stations have been removed until the end of this crisis

In response to this set of circumstances that seemed unimaginable just a few months ago, we have also determined that it is necessary to implement the following policies which would also have seemed unimaginable a few months ago. These policies are intended to protect both your health and the health of our staff.

  1. ) We are unable to allow any person who is coughing to enter the building or to interact with our staff. If you are coughing or otherwise unwell, we ask that you have someone else bring your pet to the hospital as needed.
  2. ) Only one person may accompany a pet to an appointment or an emergency visit. If more than one person arrives with a pet, only one person will be admitted to the building.
  3. ) Clients will be required to remain in their cars while our staff assesses their pets. Our doctors and nurses will call the client on their cell phone in order to obtain the history and to determine the plan. After this, a single healthy family member may enter the building if necessary.
  4. ) We have implemented a social distancing policy for any clients that enter the building. We respectfully ask and require clients to remain 3 feet from the reception desk and 6 feet from any staff member as recommended by the CDC.
  5. ) We are unable to allow clients to enter the back of our hospital where the majority of our staff are working.
  6. ) We are unable to allow visitation of hospitalized pets until the end of this crisis.
  7. ) We ask you to consider rescheduling ‘non-essential’ appointments to a later time.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will follow any appropriate recommendations from federal, state, and local officials.

We ask for your continued understanding and cooperation as we continue to navigate this truly unprecedented situation. With your assistance, we will continue to provide your pets with the care that they need.

Wishing you and your family health and safety,

Dennis Burkett, VMD, PhD, DACVECC, DACVIM (Cardiology)

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