COVID-19 (Public Information)

In the midst of COVID-19, Vermont veterinarians are doing their best to balance the desires to care for their patients, protect the wellbeing of their employees and co-workers, protect the wellbeing of clients, manage successful business operations, and all the while doing our part to be stewards of overall public health. The VVMA wants to make sure you have access to current, relevant resources and the ability to connect with other veterinarians from the VVMA to share ideas and best practices to navigate this challenge before us. We commit to evolving our actions as needed to better meet your needs as things develop and change. Veterinarians are well-positioned to bring good, accurate information to those we interact with and have a true, public health role to play during this time.  If you have any information you think should be added to this resource page, please contact VVMA Executive Director Kathy Finnie at [email protected] or Associate Director Linda Waite-Simpson at linda@vtvets.org.  Please bookmark this page.

 

STATE OF VERMONT - ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDANCE, LEGISLATIVE RESPONSE

April 9, 2021 - Veterinarians are included in Sector A which can resume normal business operations today.

Governor Phil Scott announced his 3 month reopening plan this week.  The state has confirmed that veterinarians are in Sector A and that guidance is effective beginning today.  (I would have guessed that we would be in Sector B - go figure!). This is the message from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development:

"As of today April 9 you will need only to implement the five categories of the universal guidance.  The ACCD guidance that has been in place under the Work Safe Guidance for months will no longer govern your operations as of April 9.  With respect to the longstanding provision calling for employers to have their employees work remotely where possible, that will continue to be encouraged after April 9, but not required, as the universal guidance is intended to be the complete set of measures."


The governor's three-step process toward fully reopening on July 4: 

April 9 - follow universal guidance, no quarantine for cross-state travel, masking, and physical distancing remain a requirement
May 9 - 1 unvaccinated person per 100 sq. ft up to 150, plus any number of vaccinated people, masking, and physical distancing required.
June 1 -  1 unvaccinated person per 50 sq ft up to 300 plus any number of vaccinated people, masking, and physical distancing required.
July 4 -  no capacity limits, masking, and physical distancing encouraged. 

Universal guidance:

Stay home if sick
Wear a mask
Insure 6 foot spaces and uncrowded places
Practice good hygiene
Think before you travel
You may add any specific safety precautions you feel is necessary to protect you, your staff, and the public.



Vaccine Prioritization
 




If you have not yet registered with the state for the vaccine, you can do so on the Department of Health webpage:  https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/vaccine.  If you plan to receive your vaccine through a local pharmacy, be sure to check in with them about their registration procedures.  

Here's a tip:  vaccination sites often have doses left at the end of the day.  They have been directed to follow eligibility guidance on administering these vaccine doses but if they cannot find an eligible person, they have been instructed NOT to waste the vaccine.   If you would like to be considered for an early vaccination, reach out to a nearby vaccine site and ask to be put on the call list.

Volunteering to help with the vaccination effort:
The Biden administration has issued orders through the PREP act that allow veterinarians to participate in the vaccination process.  Here is information from the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation on how to volunteer including requirements.

 

State Vet Board issues emergency rules:  please read!

Veterinary Licensing/CE requirements:

Veterinary license renewal is May 31, 2021.  The Vermont Secretary of State’s Office of Professional Regulation has issued a temporary policy for continuing education and impacts of COVID-19.  They are now allowing for online CE that provides a completion certificate – as opposed to an examination requirement in the regular rules.  A copy of OPRs new policy is available here.


FEDERAL GUIDANCE

CDC
Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Veterinary Clinics During the COVID-19 Response

DEA
COVID-19 information page on the Diversion Control Division's website.  This page contains important guidance concerning COVID-19 and the national drug supply, electronic prescribing of controlled substances, telemedicine, medicated assisted treatment, and other important federal and state information. 

DEA Exception to Regulation Order, March 25, 2020

DEA Guidance - Oral Schedule II Drug Prescribing Guidance - March 30, 2020


FDA

FDA Relaxes Federal VCPR Rules during Pandemic

FDA Food Safety

FDA webpage on availability of supplies

FDA guidance on conserving PPE 


INFORMATION FOR BUSINESSES

Payroll Protection Plan loan forgiveness requirements and application

EMPLOYERS, PLEASE NOTE:  Each covered employer must post a notice of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requirements in a conspicuous place on its premises.  DOL POSTER and FAQ document

IRS tax deferment
3/19/20 The IRS has issued guidance allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. The guidance also allows corporate taxpayers a similar deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments that would be due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. This guidance does not change the April 15 filing deadline.

Here is the link to the press release: home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm948
Here is the link to the IRS Notice: www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-20-17.pdf

Families First Coronavirus Relief Act - AVMA Summary​​

FAQ document from the Dept. of Labor

DOL Fact Sheet on FFCRA

CARES Act - Passed Congress on 3/30/20 and signed into law  AVMA Summary 

Suspension of federal student loan interest accrual.
Federal student loan borrowers will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days.  Borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency.  More information:  www.StudentAid.gov/coronavirus

Vermont Business Guidance from the VT Agency of Commerce and Community Development: https://accd.vermont.gov/about-us/disaster-planning/covid-19-guidance-vermont-businesses

​​CDC Guidance for Businesses and Employers:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

Vermont Department of Labor:  https://labor.vermont.gov/covid19 for unemployment insurance claim information

 

 

AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

Signage for Clinics:  For Curbside    For In-Person Safety

Comprehensive resources: https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/animal-health-and-welfare/covid-19

COVID-19 Minimize Exposure Flow Chart (a resource NOT a directive)

AVMA BOD Talking Points on Resuming Non-urgent Veterinary Care

American Association of Veterinary State Boards letter on resuming non-urgent care

 

 

GENERAL

 

SUPPLY CHAIN/PPE

 
COVID-19 AND PETS 

Infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they spread it to other animals, including people.  It is recommended that people wash their hands thoroughly before and after interacting with your pet. 

 

Tips for staying safe during a pandemic

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  Wear a droplet (medical) mask if you must be in close contact with someone infected with the virus.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.  Discard the tissue right away and wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Make sure you have a supply (90+ days) of necessary medication, both prescription and over the counter.
  • Store a 2+ week supply of food and water
  • Discuss setting up a quarantine room with family members and reassure them that they will be cared for if they become sick.