Representation of COVID Tunnel.

COVID-19

and

North County Cat Hospital

Regarding COVID-19 - The Endemic Coronavirus

 

10-2-22

San Diego County currently has "low community levels" but "substantial community transmission" of COVID-19. Based on this and new guidelines, the CDC has eased its mask wearing protocols for the county.

 

Effective October 3, 2022 North County Cat Hospital will no longer require masks to be worn by everyone entering our hospital. If you are free of active COVID infection, you can come inside with or without a mask.

 

You can still choose to stay outside. We will continue to offer COVID safety protocols to those who want them.

 

Those of us working here will continue to wear masks.

 

5-5-22:

Recently there have been marked reductions in COVID prevention protocols and practices and there have been mild increases in COVID infections and hospitalizations in San Diego County. The CDC’s current rating of San Diego’s community level is still low.

 

Unless and until we see a surge in COVID cases, we will start to loosen some of our restrictions regarding clients coming into the hospital.

 

We will still require masks (covering nose and mouth):

  • Most of us working here are in contact with people who are at increased risk if exposed to COVID (immunocompromised or children too young to be vaccinated).

  • We don’t have enough space to social distance effectively.

  • Masks are very easy to wear.

  • Masks are still mandated in medical settings and there is legal gray area that can place veterinary practices into that pigeonhole.

 

If they have been vaccinated and are free of active COVID infection, clients can choose whether to come inside:

  • If you want to stay outside, you can. We will continue to offer COVID safety protocols to those who want them.

  • If you want to come in with your cat(s), you can.

  • If you want to come inside to pick up medications, etc., you can. (Although we may limit the number of people inside at any given time.)

3-12-22:

Recently the CDC updated its COVID-19 guidelines and it appears that things are looking up regarding the pandemic. . Although San Diego County is red-flagged as being high in “community transmission”, it is green-flagged as being low in “community levels”. It’s a little confusing but if this risk assessment persists, if we don’t see another surge in local cases, we plan and hope to regain some normalcy by beginning to allow clients back into the hospital on April 4th, 2022.

 

We will, however, continue to be careful. San Diego’s case rate and death rate are still a lot higher than they were last summer and for every 100 people in the county, fewer than 50 are fully vaccinated (initial vaccinations and a booster). The risk of COVID is still very real.

 

Next month we plan to start having clients come back into the hospital on a very restricted basis. 

 

We will:

  • Require masks to be worn (always covering nose and mouth) when inside the hospital.

  • Allow only one "household unit" into the hospital at any given time.

  • Have clients remain seated when they are in the exam rooms.

  • Ask anyone who is not fully vaccinated, including the booster, to remain outside.

  • Ask anyone who is showing any signs of COVID to remain outside, ideally rescheduling their appointment.

 

This means that:

  • Most of our client interactions will continue to take place over the telephone.

  • We will keep in place our system for admitting patients in a contact-free manner.

 

Our pandemic restrictions will remain in place for most patient visits.

7-27-21:

We are going to go back to not allowing clients to come inside.

All of us working at North County Cat Hospital have received a full set of COVID-19 vaccinations and we are confident that fully vaccinated people have a low risk of getting sick from the disease.

 

However, more than half of us here are in fairly close contact with "at-risk" individuals (young children or someone who has a compromised immune system) and there is mounting evidence that our vaccinations (and your vaccinations) may not protect these at-risk individuals. As Typhoid Mary did with typhoid fever, people who are COVID vaccinated may be able to spread COVID virus even if they aren't sick themselves.

 

To protect the at-risk people we will, for now, stop allowing clients to come inside.

 

I understand that this will frustrate some of our clients: it goes beyond current government guidelines, and is far beyond the restrictions that most businesses are currently imposing. I feel, however, that it is our only conscionable choice and ask for everyone's understanding and patience.

.

6-12-21:

Next week we will start having clients come back into the hospital on a very restricted basis. 

Our pandemic restrictions will remain in place for most patient visits.

 

We will:

  • Require masks to be worn (covering nose and mouth) at all times when inside the hospital.

  • Allow only one "household unit" in at any given time.

  • Have clients remain seated when they are in the exam rooms.

  • Ask anyone who is not fully vaccinated to remain outside.

 

We've put these restrictions in place because:

  • For every 100 Californians, fewer than 50 are vaccinated against COVID.

  • For every 100 Californians, more than 4 have a compromised immune system - the vaccine may not work in them and COVID is still life-threatening to them.

  • We don't know if vaccinated people can transmit the disease.

  • Our client area is too small to easily accommodate six-foot distancing.

 

All of this means that:

  • Most of our client interactions will continue to take place over the telephone.

  • We will keep in place our system for admitting patients in a contact-free manner.

1-11-21:

Vaccinations against Covid-19 are now being given. Despite this, we will continue operating as we have been for ten months.

Even if you have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, we can't allow you inside.

  • The vaccines are a measure to help control the pandemic. They are being used in addition to masking and social distancing, not instead of those.

  • The vaccines are not 100% effective.

  • Not enough is known about the vaccines' duration of effect.

  • Not enough is know about the vaccines' ability to prevent vaccinated individuals from acting as carriers of the virus.

  • The pandemic is raging.

5-14-20:

The State of California is easing restrictions on business regarding COVID-19.

Despite this, we will, for now, continue operating as we have been for the last two months. We made this decision based, in part, on the following:

  • We feel that we have been able to do a good job taking care of cats despite physical distancing between humans.

  • There is still significant risk from the virus.

  • Our physical space is not large enough to easily allow six-foot distancing.

3-19-20: 

The State of California has issued a "stay-at-home" order. This is an extreme measure but one that allows us to continue to treat cats. We have in place what we feel are equally extreme measures to prevent us from being part of the continuation of the pandemic.​

Until further notice:

-We will be open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Thursday and from 9:00 am to 12 noon on Friday..

-Only staff members will be allowed inside the hospital.

-We will offer only "contact-free service".

  • To purchase medications or other items:

    • Call first, as usual (760-758-6228).

    • Drive to our parking lot and call us again.

    • We will collect payment preferably via credit card over the phone. (We prefer this to cash or check.)

    • We will place the items on the table in front of the hospital.

    • After we leave, you can collect the item.

  • To bring a cat in to be seen:​

    • Call first, as usual.​

    • We will schedule the appointment and either take history at that time or later, by phone.

    • Drive to our parking lot with your cat in a carrier. If your cat is not in a carrier, we will not be able to see them. (File boxes, hampers, or picnic baskets are not carriers - they will not work.)

    • Call us when you get here.

    • We will discuss the initial plan, including initial cost estimates, over the phone.

    • When we are ready, place the carrier on the table in front of the office. If you prefer, you can place the carrier on the concrete.

    • We will take the carrier after you leave.

    • You can wait in your car or come back later, while we proceed as planned.

    • When we are done, and when you are ready, we will leave the carrier where you originally placed it.

  • If you are showing signs of COVID-19 and your cat needs to be seen, please tell us about your signs first. If possible, get a healthy friend to bring your cat to us.