Keeping pets and people healthy and safe: A new update on COVID-19

March 26, 2020 • Vancouver, WA

Hello,
 
Our shared love for pets is stronger than I can even describe. I feel it every time I hang out with my cats, Ashin and Kenji. I experience it when I’m talking to clients and veterinary teams and all the great Banfield associates who are staying connected right now. It’s amazing, it’s reassuring, it’s awesome. Because no matter what life brings, pets are here for us. And it’s essential that we’re here for them.
 
That’s why now, more than ever, we thank you — and your pets — for being a part of the Banfield family.
 
At Banfield Pet Hospital, the health, safety, and wellbeing of our patients, our staff, and our community continues to be our number-one priority amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Now that we are well aware of the paramount need to prevent the virus from spreading to more people, we all have a personal responsibility to do our part. And as an essential business that plays a critical role in supporting public health through veterinary care, we are taking numerous steps at Banfield to continue offering high-quality, compassionate care to pets in need as long as we can maintain a safe and healthy environment for our staff and everyone else who comes through our doors.
 
The situation is evolving daily, and our actions are adapting as we know more about how to react to the impacts of COVID-19. As we face this challenge together, we want to give you visibility to the steps we’re taking here at Banfield:
 
We’re here for our clients and the pets you love
We’re committed to delivering high-quality care for your pet, and to protecting the safety of you and our team. But we need your help!

•   At Banfield, we’re keeping our hospitals open as long as it’s safe, but because of COVID-19, some locations might need to change their hours or services. If you have an appointment coming up soon or are planning to schedule a new appointment, please call your local Banfield to get the latest info. You can find all our locations and their phone numbers hospital locator.
•   Please utilize drop-off appointments when possible, and chat with your hospital team about the option of completing drop-off forms and authorizations prior to arrival, providing medical history over the phone, placing a payment card-on-file, and using our online pharmacy instead of purchasing recurring medications in-hospital.
•    In our hospitals, please limit the number of people who accompany you — and follow social distancing best practices by maintaining a 6-foot distance from others to prevent exposure. Ideally, we recommend you stay inside your car to wait for your pet to be treated.
•   We are doing whatever we can to meet your needs at home during this time too. Our more than two million Optimum Wellness Plan clients are urged to take advantage of Banfield’s telehealth service Vet Chat™, which lets you connect with a veterinarian anytime, day or night through the Banfield app and now right on our website. With 24/7 on-demand access to general pet care advice and triage support from a reputable source, Vet Chat can help you determine whether a trip to the veterinarian is necessary.
•   If you feel ill or may have had COVID-19 exposure, please stay home and call your medical provider for advice on next steps. If your pet does not require immediate care, please keep them home and avoid contact with other people and animals. We’ll happily reschedule your pet’s appointments when you’re well.
•    And finally, please stay apprised of the latest COVID-19-related information and guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). You can also check out our client handout for more information.
 
We’re here for our hospital teams
Several steps have been taken to protect our hospital associates who are on the front lines providing essential services to your pets in need during this unprecedented time, including but not limited to:

•   Personal hygiene best practices, hospital cleaning and disinfection guidelines, and responsible personal protective equipment (PPE) usage requirements have been deployed and are being continually reinforced throughout our hospitals.
•   Guidelines for client interactions have been shared with our hospital associates, and hospital signage has been provided to help our teams maintain safe distances and hygiene best practices.
•   A special COVID-19 pay policy was developed to enable our associates to take the time they need away from work during the outbreak without added stress, whether to prioritize their own health and wellbeing or to care for their loved ones.
•   If any associates or their family members need extra emotional support during this time, they have access to free support from professional counsellors in person, via phone, or through video calls. Clinicians are available 24/7.
 
We’re here for you, the pets you love, and the communities we live in and serve. And we appreciate your patience with us as we navigate this crisis the best way we know how, with the best interests of people and pets at the forefront.
 
And sincere thanks to those of you who’ve shared words of encouragement and stories of appreciation with our staff and each other along the way – your kindness goes further than you may realize among the veterinary teams working hard to care for you and your pets during this trying time.
 
Thank you for being part of the Banfield family.

Sincerely,
Brian Garish
President