Fact Check: Curbside requirement at veterinarian's office | WHEC.com


Fact Check: Curbside requirement at veterinarian's office

Nikki Rudd
Created: June 01, 2021 06:05 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — You still can't go inside the veterinarian's office with your pet at many places around town. A lot of people have been blaming the COVID guidelines from the state. So what's the deal? News10NBC's Nikki Rudd is checking the facts. 

News10NBC has been getting emails for months from people upset they can't be with their pets at the vet's! 

"Can you find out from New York State when they will open veterinary services to allow pet owners in with their pets? The curbside only system puts burdens on the pet owner and the veterinary staff that is now completely unnecessary," wrote Patty Fallon. 

Grace Case emailed, "When are veterinary hospitals going to be allowed to let "pet parents" into the clinics with their pets? Due to pandemic protocols, I have had to sit in my vehicle outside and try to describe on the phone where the mass or lump is that I want them to examine.  Much of the time that has not been successful."

Maeve Kelly called the current protocols frustrating. 

"I can go to my own medical  doctor and my dentist, so why can I not accompany my dog?" Kelly asked. 

News10NBC reached out to the New York State Veterinary Medical Society. Turns out the state mandate that keeps many of you waiting in your car has been lifted. It just happened last week. 

We also contacted a bunch of local veterinarians. At Monroe Veterinary Associates they're reviewing the new guidelines.

"We are reviewing those now and anticipate re-opening within the next couple of weeks. We are looking forward to having clients back in our hospitals and hope to accommodate that very soon." 

However, at places like Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Services (VSES), News10NBC found out emergency room visits will stay curbside for now.

"The Emergency Room visits will remain curbside for the time being due to the large volume of cases and limited space," said VSES Medical Director Dr. Simon Kirk.  

So even though the guidelines have changed you could still be stuck in your car at the vet's office.

Here’s the latest update from New York State: 
"The requirement for curbside veterinary visits has been lifted. Veterinary clinics are now treated as any other business and veterinarians should consult the NYForward Reopening Reference Guide.

NYS reference guide on implementing CDC guidance in a business: 

  • You are authorized to require masks and six feet of social distancing, but you may also adopt guidance related to fully vaccinated people.
  • The guidance document sets a higher standard for healthcare settings, but we are informed that veterinary medicine can follow the more general guidelines for non-healthcare businesses.
  • You may designate just part of your establishment as a zone for fully vaccinated people, and separate that from work areas for unvaccinated people.
  • You may also continue to operate using curbside intake, and this may be your only option if you are not able to meet the other requirements in the new guidelines. In this situation would still be able to say to clients that you are continuing curbside intake as it is the only practical way for you to continue to comply with NYS and CDC guidelines. 


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