After 14 long months of curbside we began allowing clients back into the building in May! Like our clients, we were really tired curbside care! Everything took twice as long to do anything with us running in and out of the building. Furthermore, we missed face to face interactions. If you are at risk for Covid we suggest you continue curbside. Our primary goal is to still keep everyone safe.
Please fill out the online Pet Exam Form. The exam form button is located on this page below. This helps us gather as much information as possible to best care for your pets.
Please WEAR A MASK yourself when interacting with our staff. Be sure to wear the mask properly so that it covers your nose and mouth.
Please let us know if you have had exposure to Covid-19. If you have we will proceed curbside.
Let us know if you wish to come into the clinic or be curbside.
We only allow ONE HUMAN into the building with the pet/s.
Please do not enter the building if you feel ill or if you’ve had any exposure to covid.
If you cannot wear your mask properly (such that both your nose and mouth are covered) we will ask you to leave the building and continue the appointment curbside.
Once in the building you will remain in the exam room to limit lobby congestion. Our reception staff will complete the payment process while you are in the exam room and afterwards there will be no loitering in the lobby. We are doing our best to keep everyone safe!
If you are coming to pick up medication or if your pet is coming for a nurse appointment, we will have you remain outside (curbside model).
Dr Sutton is proud that we’ve made it over a year with no employees getting Covid! Our number one priority is to keep clients and staff safe.
Pet online exam form
Please fill out the exam history form prior to arrival to expedite the process and aid our nurses.
“Our family thought we would be nervous in the office without them.”
Staff & Curbside COVID-19 Protocol
We care about you and your pets. The nursing staff has escalated our efforts to disinfect everything!
All of the Tequesta Vet Clinic staff will be wearing a mask and we request that clients also wear masks when interacting with us.
Clients stay in the parking lot, typically in their cars so they can stay cool in their air conditioning of the car. For clients who must leave their car, we maintain 6 feet of social distancing. Clients must wear a mask when we interact.
We are treating everyone we meet as we would treat a dog patient who has parvo. We are used to bleaching foot baths and disinfection techniques that few laypeople have experienced. I mean to tell you, we have dishpan hands!
We will keep our distance! The government recommends 6 feet and except for a handoff of a pet, we are adhering to this social distancing.
After the curbside “drop off” of pets with one of our vet nurses, the pet comes into the clinic. We can chat with the client via cell phone from the car.
If a client doesn’t have a cell phone they may use our clinic cell phone which we will disinfect between clients. Or the doctor may come outside to chat with the client—6 feet away.
How will we allow clients back in the building?
We have lots to consider as we contemplate re-opening our doors to clients.
From AAHA NEWStat, Sept 5, 2020
Lots of hospitals are eager to open their doors and let clients come in from the curb, but aren’t sure how to do it safely. Many are taking to social media to ask for tips from other hospitals.
Most of those tips are valid—hand sanitizer stations in every room, a mask mandate, taking the temperature of everyone who comes through the door—but it’s also clear that nobody’s quite sure what to do, and everyone seems to be operating by the seat of their pants. So NEWStat wanted to see whether anyone was working on a rigorous, science-based, step-by-step plan on how and when to safely reopen veterinary hospitals to clients.
Our first stop was J. Scott Weese, DVM, DVSc, DACVIM, a contributing reviewer of the 2018 AAHA Infection Control, Prevention, and Biosecurity Guidelines. Weese has prepared a series of in-depth guides on how to safely reopen a veterinary hospital prepared on behalf of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association. All are available on his Worms & Germs COVID-19 Veterinary Resources page.
Nevertheless, he wasn’t encouraging. “There aren’t any step-by-step guides . . . because there’s not a single-step approach to reopening,” he said. “What to do depends on many factors, such as [the number of COVID cases] in the area, hospital layout, risk tolerance, risk status of people in the hospital, ability to implement changes, and things like that.” He says what is available is more of a menu of options that hospitals need to choose from versus a standard plan.
Peterson also recommends the American Industrial Hygienists Association’s (AIHA) Back to Work Safely website: “They don’t address veterinary hospitals specifically, but do have guidelines for dental offices and general office space that would be useful to consider in the veterinary setting.”
Meghan Davis, DVM, MPH Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health seconds Peterson’s suggestions to look to the CDC and AIHA for guidance. And, like Weese, she’s unaware of any ongoing research that specifically addresses the reopening of veterinary hospitals.
But Davis does believe that consideration of engineering and administrative controls—in addition to consistent and proper use of PPE—is essential to the successful reopening of hospitals to clients. To that end, she recommends that hospitals consult the Hierarchy of Controls figure adapted from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in this article by two of her colleagues. “What this means is changing work practices [such as] distancing [and] workflow protocols—as well as using physical barriers to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”
Weese pointed NEWStat to his latest guidance, which “goes over various options, approaches, and control measures. That’s the closest thing to what you’re looking for that I know about.” Christine Petersen, DVM, PhD, director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the University of Iowa suggested some additional resources that veterinary hospitals planning to admit clients might find useful: “There are some general materials that have been put together for reopening different types of businesses, and the US Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) put out some specific guidance on personal protective equipment [PPE] and helping with veterinary staffing during COVID.”
Davis says administrative controls can include one-way movement of people to ensure physical distancing, such as the use of dedicated entrance and exit doors. She also advocates a strategy for multi-doctor practices that assigns staff to shift “pods,” where the same veterinarians, technicians, administrative support team, kennel staff, and other workers are assigned the same shifts together, with no crossover and with good disinfection protocols between shifts.
“This way, if one person tests positive, then it will only be the one pod that has to isolate/quarantine and the practice can continue to provide service with the other pod or pods of employees,” she says and notes that her research lab at Johns Hopkins is currently using this strategy.
“Inside a veterinary hospital, density (number of people per square feet) in relation to ventilation is important to consider,” Davis says. That means limiting the number of clients in a room with the veterinarian as well as the total number of people in smaller exam rooms. And if, for any reason, staff can’t avoid being in close contact with clients in a small room, she recommends they wear goggles or face shields in addition to N95 or similar respirators. “Related to this, there’s also a useful PPE burn rate calculator (including a mobile app version) from CDC/NIOSH that veterinary hospitals may find useful to estimate their ordering needs for PPE.”
Davis cautions that these suggestions may not work for all hospitals: “It may be that [some practices’] buildings are not conducive to engineering or administrative controls, and those practices will have to make decisions about whether they should remain curbside.”
Some hospitals may also choose to remain curbside based on how much COVID-19 is circulating in their community, Davis adds, and only move to reopen when incidence rates have declined in their area.
Davis says her last piece of advice as an infectious disease epidemiologist is for practice leadership and teams to treat the pandemic as a marathon, not a sprint. “There’s still a lot we don’t know about this virus,” she says.
Even if researchers come up with an effective vaccine this fall, Davis says approval, deployment, and penetration into communities is going to take some time: “It’s possible that mitigation measures will have to continue for more than a year.”
About our Veterinary Clinic
Over 25 years of holistic veterinary care includes total pet wellness, veterinary medicine, surgery, spay & neutering, dental health, laser therapy, and other modalities designed to heal and support your pets.
We love your pets
Our guiding principles start with treating patients and clients as if they were our family. Regardless of the situation, we do the right thing. Learn More >
Meet of some of the most experienced, compassionate, and caring doctors, nursing, and veterinary support staff for your pets. Learn More >
Dr. Joi wants all her patients to have a microchip, and she is willing to do it for free. Yep, we pay for the chip, and our staff registers it at no cost to our clients. Learn More >
Located at 365 Cypress Dr. Tequesta, FL 33469. Proudly serving Tequesta, Jupiter, Abacoa, Hobe Sound, Juno Beach, and Palm Beach Gardens. Get Directions>