April 01, 2020 Emergency One Health

Social Distancing at the Animal Medical Center

The front entrance to the Animal Medical Center of New York City

Social Distancing at the Animal Medical Center

New York City has been ground zero before and seems like we are ground zero again when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many New Yorkers, I’m fielding numerous calls and emails from friends asking if we are ok here in NYC. The answer is we are. The Animal Medical Center continues to be open 24/7 to provide emergency and critical care for our patients. Since a picture tells a thousand words, I thought I would report from AMC with photographs of our new reality during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Experts tell us social distancing is critical to flattening the curve of the epidemic and protecting the most vulnerable. According to the press, one of the reasons the virus is spreading rapidly in NYC is the density in which we live and conduct our lives. Right now, our parking lot looks like we are about to host a wedding reception. What you see is our new outdoor heated reception area to promote social distancing among clients while reducing unnecessary visitors into our facility. These are critical steps to protect both our clients and staff.

Since all communication with pet families is now electronic to reduce person-to-person contact with clients, our exam rooms have been repurposed as “office space” to promote social distancing between veterinary staff.

AMC provides healthcare for nearly 200 guide dog patients through our Frank VD Lloyd Guide Dog Fund. Our lobby bench has been marked with tape at 6-foot intervals to help our staff monitor social distancing for our visually impaired guide dog owners.

Like any hospital, cleaning and disinfecting the facility is necessary to prevent disease transmission among our patients and staff. To combat the COVID-19 pandemic, our housekeeping staff have stepped up cleaning, especially of high touch areas.

One of AMC’s missions is the education of the next generation of veterinarians, and a traditional component of our educational programming has been lectures given by staff in our large conference room. While we can’t have the hospital-wide Grand Rounds and Annual Research Abstract presentations like we usually do, the intern class can fit into our conference room and be safely spaced as you can see in the photograph of a morning lecture. Other conferences are happening via video conferencing.

AMC’s emergency room is ready for any emergency during this difficult time. To give some guidance on why an animal ER is the right place for your pet in an emergency, check out five reasons to go to the animal ER now.

We have also created a 24/7 hotline for pet emergency questions. The AMC team is standing by to help you determine if your pet should come to the ER and to advise you on how to prepare for your arrival at AMC. Our ER hotline can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 212-329-8608.

Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID19, emergency room, one health, Social Distancing, veterinary emergency,

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