The College of Veterinarians of Ontario recognizes that pet and animal owners and veterinarians are concerned about the implications of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the well-being of animals and on the delivery of veterinary medicine in Ontario. These are unusual and challenging times as we all work together to do what we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The College is sharing information for members of the veterinary profession and the general public.
Current Update from the College - October 5, 2020
The College recognizes the increasing challenges that veterinarians are facing due to the ongoing pandemic. Veterinarians have been demonstrating leadership as public health practitioners by delivering services in a manner that upholds recommended public health measures, including physical distancing, frequent handwashing and appropriate personal protective equipment. The College advises veterinarians to continue these efforts to decrease the potential for exposure to COVID-19.
Be Attentive to Public Health Measures: It is imperative that veterinarians continue to follow all public health recommendations. When you deliver services, be attentive to public health directives and your infection control and biosecurity protocols to safeguard employees, clients and animals. Beyond provincial directives, your local public health unit may have additional orders in place. Check for information on the public health unit in your area.
Telemedicine: At this time, the College is maintaining its decision to not strictly enforce certain provisions of our regulation (section 33. (1) (b) of Regulation 1093) pertaining to prescribing via telemedicine. Until otherwise directed, veterinarians may prescribe a non-controlled drug using telemedicine alone, in cases where they have not conducted an in-person examination of the animal(s), and where they deem this is necessary and prudent in their professional judgment. In such a case, the assessment of the animal(s) would be conducted virtually where a veterinarian can gather sufficient information on the animal(s) via telemedicine to reach at least a general or preliminary diagnosis and continue to maintain medical records.
Support for your health: These are stressful times and we encourage you to be attentive to your own health and well-being as we navigate these unprecedented challenges. The College has partnered with Homewood Health to provide a free, confidential service to support the health, well-being and resilience of veterinarians. Veterinarians who need support are encouraged to contact Homewood Health (1-866-750-3207) for assistance.
Practice Advice: The College appreciates the work and commitment of veterinarians. The Practice Advisory team is available to assist you with any questions you may have. Please connect by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.