These have suddenly become trying and dangerous times. In recent days Federal, State and local governments have issued many directives including school closings, closure of restaurants, religious gatherings and social and sporting events aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Veterinary hospitals, however, are considered an essential service and will be kept open. In so doing we must change our operational protocols as we strive to protect our clients and staff from this present danger which in due time shall pass. We ask for everyone's indulgence and patience.
For the present, Hyattsville Animal Hospital will continue to see patients on a drop-off basis in an effort to minimize person to person contact. We will operate with the following guidelines:
1. Clients should call as usual to make an appointment for drop-off. This conversation should include the reason for the visit, pertinent medical history, contact information, especially a phone number where clients can be reached, and any other concerns. We ask that clients be prepared to answer their phones as this will be the principal means of communication between the Doctors, staff and the client.
2. When clients reach our parking lot, they should call the reception desk to let us know they are here. One of our staff members will either come out to the vehicle to collect the patient or the patient can be brought into the vestibule and handed off to a waiting staff member on the other side of the inner glass door. The patient will be taken back to the treatment area for evaluation.
3. As soon as the Doctor has evaluated the patient, the client will be called with diagnostic and/or treatment recommendations. As work progresses, there may be a need for follow-up calls. Clients should be prepared to answer their phone to expedite their pet's care. Of course, estimates of cost will be provided by phone on request.
4. At the end of the day, the client will be called with their pet's final evaluation and discharge instructions. The phone will then be handed over to the reception desk to, as much as possible, take credit card payments by phone.
6. When clients return to pick-up their pet, they should once again call the reception desk as soon as they are parked out front. A staff member will bring out the pet, any medications, receipts and written discharge instructions either to the vehicle or to the vestibule. If cash payment needs to be made, this can be placed in an envelope and handed to the staff member and change and receipts returned the same way.
7. There will be exceptions to these guidelines. For example, if a family member wishes to stay with a pet that unfortunately must be euthanized, we will honor that request. If there is a life threatening emergency or if the client's help is needed to bring in a large dog, exemptions will have to be made.
Again, the whole purpose here is to absolutely minimize person to person contact for the welfare of both our clientele and our staff. We apologize for any inconvenience, however necessary, and ask for your patience. We pray that with God's help everything will get back to normal soon and everyone will stay well.
The Doctors and Staff of Hyattsville Animal Hospital