Vets running med pick-up services and rotating staff to combat Covid-19

A number of veterinary practices around the country are taking measures to enact social distancing precautions including the operation of a pick-up service for animal medications as well as staff rotations, according to the Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI).

Speaking to AgriLand, VCI registrar Niamh Muldoon highlighted the various ways in which vets are taking action to limit the spread of Covid-19.

“Lots of veterinary practices are operating a pick-up service whereby either farmers ring ahead with orders…the medicines are prepared and then they are invited to pull up in their car,” Muldoon explained.

The medicine will be dropped out by a member of staff from the practice or they ring when they’re outside.

“There’s certain management protocols in place within practices to follow public health guidelines regarding public distancing,” the registrar added.

Continuing, Muldoon explained the ways in which vets are managing the public and clients coming into the actual practice premises.

“Either people come in one at a time, and that’s managed through somebody calling to say ‘I’m outside’, or an animal could be dropped out to a car.”

Protocols suitable to circumstances

Muldoon added that the VCI is not directly involved in terms of the approach that practices are taking.

“Vets around the country are carrying out their own risk assessments; they are putting in place protocols suitable to their own circumstances.

It might be that there is a rotation of staff – staff working in two teams – so that, in the event that a member of the team does contract the virus, not the entire team is subjected to it.

“Some practices, I understand, have limited their routine clinics and they’re dealing either with emergency only or a smaller number of appointments.

“Basically all are following public health guidelines to make sure that social distances and the usual precautions are being followed,” Muldoon concluded.