Updated: April 15, 2020

Dear Valued Client:
We understand the concerns and questions that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has brought to the area and felt it was important to connect with you, our loyal clients, to share information that can help put your mind at ease, and assure you we are staying on top of the emerging information as it becomes available. This memo will provide you with general public health information, as well as help explain specific changes at our hospital.

While the world is still learning much in regards to the virus, the AVMA and other public health resources are confident at this time that pet to human transmission of COVID-19 is not likely. We understand that you likely have heard of positive animal cases and should you want more information on this matter we urge you to call our office for clarification or read up on the very specific cases on the AVMA website directly. For good practice, if you or someone in your household is positive for COVID-19, it is being recommended that you follow the same social distancing protocol with your pet as you would with your other family members. If possible allow another family member to care for your animal, otherwise practice sanitation and good hygiene any time you interact with a pet.

We urge you to keep up to date on the facts from validated resources, such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), in regards to your pets and the virus; And of course continuing to monitor information from the CDC, WHO and other public health agencies.

Our practice is here for you and your beloved pets through this time. We are open and accepting appointments everyday! We are accepting our scheduled sick visits and vaccination appointments, as well as urgent care, same day services. We are able to offer our advanced diagnostic imaging services and schedule consults or surgeries with our board certified practitioners. Our compassionate staff remains dedicated to providing the same level of excellent medical and surgical care to your pet. This being said, we have implemented several protocols to help keep our staff and clients safe. Please read below to learn about some of the measures we are currently taking should you need to bring your pet in and to clarify some frequently asked questions you may have:

Are we open and are we accepting appointments?
Our office hours will remain the same: M-F 8am-6pm, Saturday 9am-1pm, and Sunday 9am-2pm. At this time we ask that you call to schedule an appointment; While we are seeing emergency/urgent care appointments – we ask that you call prior to heading to the office.
What is the protocol upon arriving at the hospital should you need to bring your pet in?

In an attempt to limit client interaction in our lobby we have implemented “Concierge Service”. This means we are asking that you call from the car when you arrive to check in for your appointment. The technician will take a patient history form you over the phone to learn about how your pet has been at home. You may wait in the car and the technician will come outside with gloves and a mask on. For dogs, we are using our hospital slip-lead style leash to lead him/her into the hospital with. To accomplish this the technician will place the slip lead and remove your personal leash/harness/collar. We do still urge you to have the collar and leash in place in the car/on the sidewalk and allow our staff to transition to the slip lead. Cats should be in carriers and we will use your carrier to bring you cat inside, however we ask that you remove any unnecessary blankets or towels. After you release your dog or cat to the technician, the technician will lead him or her inside to be examined by the doctor. We ask that you remain parked outside during this time. The doctor will do her initial exam and call your provided phone number to discuss her finding and recommended treatment plan with you. After receiving your consent, the doctor and technician will work together to complete the services discussed and put together any medications to go home. While this is being done, the receptionist will process your credit card payment over the phone and print out an itemized invoice for you. The technician will then lead your dog or cat back outside to you with any medications and instructions for you.

What if your dog is reactive or protective of the car?
Please inform our staff if you feel it would be safer for us and less stressful for your dog if instead of us opening the car door, the transition occurs away from the car on the sidewalk. We are also able to provide a muzzle for you to place outside, should you know your pet may need this. Our goal is to make this as safe and stress free as possible.
What if you need to pick up medications or food? Or drop off a urine or fecal sample?
The same concierge service will be in place for picking up medications and food. We also ask that you allow for ample time when calling requesting refills, as shipping has been delayed recently due to the effects of the virus.
Can you stop by our office to ask a question?
We love our clients and we love our convenient location on main street as we get to check in with our patients as they are walking by our office. Unfortunately, during this time we hope you understand that we ask you to call our office with any questions or conversations. This again, is for the safety of you and our staff. We are eager to get back to our normal open door policy and will inform you as soon as this policy is lifted. Similarly, please know when our technicians are outside that they are working with another patient and will ask you to call in with your question so a staff member inside can look at our electronic medical record system and schedule to help you to the best of our ability.
Are we accepting new clients?
ABSOLUTELY!! We are definitely welcoming new clients. We understand your regular veterinary office may not be open or you may just be looking to transition to a new vet. Please give us a call and we will get you on the schedule!
What if you are visiting from New York City or just moved here? What if you live in CT or NJ, can you come to our office?
If you are in our area, either visiting or recently moved, we are still more than happy to see you. We will ask certain questions regarding the last time you were in the city, if you have had contact with any COVID-19 patients, or if you or someone in your household is or has recently experienced any upper respiratory symptoms. If you have concerns relating to COVID-19 and your exposure we will work with you to determine the best course of action. If you are not in our area and are looking to travel from the city or surrounding tri-state area, please know while under normal circumstances we would love to see your pet – we are discouraging unnecessary travel.
What if you are sick but your pet needs medical attention?
Please call us to discuss this. We will do our best to help you come up with a solution. Please see if any non-sick family or friends could transport your pet to the hospital on your behalf and we can still discuss everything with you over the phone.
What if you have a medical emergency after office hours?
We have implemented a 24 hour emergency phone service. Should your pet experience a veterinary emergency outside of our normal hours of operation, you can call our phone line (845-202-7129) to be connected with a staff member for advice
Are you accepting nail trim appointments or routine care appointments?
We ask for your patience with our schedule. Some non-urgent appointments/procedures may be pushed to next month. While we will do our best to have everyone seen in a timely fashion, we are also trying to preserve medical supplies and have some limitations based on NYS mandation. If your dog needs a routine nail trim, we are asking that you delay this at this time. If your dogs nails are growing too long and you feel it may cause a medical issue if you were to delay this process (curl under into paw pads, break, or cause discomfort) please inform a staff member and we will help to schedule you appropriately. We are able to see your pet for annual wellness exams to vaccinate them! Vaccines are still essential to both your pet’s health and also to public health to prevent zoonotic disease.
How are we cleaning to prevent COVID-19 living in our office?
The disinfectants we use year-round are effective against Coronavirus. As a healthcare practice, we have routine processes in place to stop disease transmission in pets. We have increased the frequency of disinfecting. Because everyone can benefit from additional training, all staff has had a thorough review of disinfection and handwashing processes. Staff is washing their hands in between every single client/staff or patient/staff interaction.
What if you have a question not covered in this update or need clarification?
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call our office at 845-202-7129 to discuss the current situation further. We will be keeping you up to date as we learn more and gather more information. We are happy to speak with you!!
Thank you for your attention and consideration in this matter. We hope you and your family stay healthy during this time. As always, remember to wash your hands!

Best Wishes,

The Staff at The Beacon Veterinary Associates