The Animal Hospital of North Asheville is committed to keeping our hospital healthy and safe for all of our patients, clients, staff, and family members. In light of growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, we would like to make you aware of the actions we are taking.
HOW ARE WE TRACKING THE VIRUS?
We are continuously monitoring the local and global situation, and are receiving updates from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
WHAT ARE WE DOING AT AHNA?
As for now, we are continuing to see appointments during our limited business hours. We have included COVID-19 cleaning and sanitizing protocols to help decrease the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 to our employees and clients.
We are limiting the amount of non-hospital staff members into the hospital. When you arrive, please call us at (828) 253-3393 and let us know you are here. Please stay in your vehicle. Please be ready to receive a call from our staff will call you when they are ready to gather information about the visit. Staff will then come out and bring only the pet(s) into the hospital while you wait in the car in the parking. Please do not leave during your appointment, we want to be able to return your pet(s) to you as soon as possible.
At this time we are making updates to our phone system and computer systems. Currently we do not have the ability to text. We are hopeful to have it back up and running soon. Until then, please call us when you arrive for your appointment or for food and medication pick up at 828-253-3393 to let us know you are here.
The veterinarian will examine your pet(s) and call you to discuss what they have found and what they recommend. At the end of the visit, your pet(s) will be returned to you and a client care team member will call for payment over the phone. (Please let us know when scheduling the appointment if you do not have a cell phone.)
Please see the www.ahna.net blog for updates and full protocols. All discharges will be given over the phone.
We are kindly asking families, if they are showing signs of symptoms of COVID-19, exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19, or have traveled to a COVID-19 epidemic area in the past 2-3 weeks to reschedule their appointment for at least 2 weeks out. If you qualify for the above and you feel the appointment is urgent, please let us know and we will contact your primary vet with your concerns.
Placing hand sanitizer/and soap around the hospital. We are routinely disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, such as desks and chairs, door handles, etc., multiple times a day throughout the lobby, exam rooms and hospital.
Constant communication with our entire staff about the best hygiene practices to ensure you feel that our office provides a safe and clean environment. Any AHNA team member who meets any of the CDC exposure criteria will be required to follow CDC and NCDHHS guidelines for testing and quarantine. Staff members who are sick are asked to stay home.
We, in accordance with the NC Statewide mask mandate, request families and staff to wear face masks and practice safe social distancing while at AHNA and during client communications.
This is a no handshake zone - our staff are practicing social distancing and maintaining a 6-foot distance from other people, when possible - that means our clients as well.
Our goal is to decrease the number of in person interactions in the hospital. Please be patient with our phone service and keep watch for when our staff comes out to help. When you arrive please call 828-253-3393 and let us know you are here. Please bring your phone and charger.
We also are taking steps to decrease large group interactions at AHNA for the time being by postponing in hospital Monthly Free Help Sessions and the AHNA Puppy Preschool. If possible we will move online.
WHAT WE'RE ASKING OF OUR CLIENTS:
We urge our clients to follow CDC guidelines including self-quarantine when prudent.
We are asking all clients who have COVID-19 like symptoms to reschedule any appointments or send another authorized agent to present their pet(s) to our hospital.
In accordance with the NC Statewide mask mandate, request families and staff to wear face masks and practice safe social distancing while at AHNA.
If you or members of your family have been required or asked to be quarantined for any reason, or test positive for COVID-19, and you have visited our facility within 72 hours, we kindly ask you to please alert our hospital.
As always, please plan for your pet(s). If you or a member of your family becomes ill, we always recommend having a 2 week supply of food, medications, and sanitary supplies, as well as an identified friend or family member who can help care for your pet(s) if needed.
At this time we are still limiting families into AHNA during appointments, even if they have received the COVID-19 vaccines. Many of our staff members are not able to receive the vaccine at this time and with working as close together as veterinary medicine requires, we still have to practice safety protocols.
It is important to note that COVID-19 is not thought to be a threat to your pets at this time. Below is the CDC position on Pets and People.
"While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person throughout the world. There is no reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it's always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals."
"Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. If you are ill with COVID-19, be sure to tell your physician and public health official that you have a pet or other animal in your home. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a face mask; don't share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with your pet or service animal. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. Additional guidance on managing pets in homes where people are sick with COVID-19 is available from the CDC."
Families should be thinking of plans of what to do if an emergency comes up, this includes fire, hurricanes, prolonged illness, an outbreak of a disease, and death. Short term plans should include having extra supplies on hand or supplies ready and on hand if they have to relocate. This should include identification of the family members and secondary contacts, pets, having vaccine records and a copy of medical records along with their veterinarian's office contact information. Adjust your plans according to updates from the CDC. Many veterinary hospitals, boarding kennels, and daycares have limited space and restrictions and may not be able to board your pet.
Returning to Normal Business Hours, March 1st, 2021
Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the community, Animal Hospital of North Asheville is now closing at 6:00pm. But as March 1st, 2021, we will be returning to normal business hours.
Hospitalized patients are still being cared for during the overnight hours, Monday-Friday.
For emergencies during this time, please either call Western Carolina Regional Animal Hospital and Veterinary Emergency Hospital at at 697-7767 or MedVet Asheville formerly known as REACH (Regional Emergency Animal Care Hospital) at 665-4399.
Both emergency hospitals will be receiving patients for the Animal Hospital of North Asheville while we are closed.
If you want or need medication refills to have on hand, please contact us at (828) 253-3393 . At this time we will be able to refill, if we have the medication in stock and approved refilled by your primary veterinarian. Refill amounts will be limited to within reason (2 months) and product availability.
We have an online ordering pharmacy called Covetrus. If you do not have an account, please call us (828) 253-3393 and provide our client care team with your name, phone number, up to date email, the medication, amount, and the pet it is prescribed for.
DUE TO THE OVERWHELMING MEDICATION REFILL REQUESTS, we ask you to give us 24 hours to fill the prescription. We also can only fill medication for AHNA patients who we have seen in the last year.
We will continue to monitor the situation and make changes as the precautionary measures change. We thank you for your patience and consideration during this time. We hope everyone stays healthy and happy.
WEBSITES TO HELP
We would like to share some of the challenges of working in veterinary medicine through the COVID-19 pandemic and how it effects your visit. Our goal to provide high quality medical care for our patients while keeping our staff and our clients safe, we have had to modify how we offer services in a way that fits the required guidelines for staying open.
DUE TO OVERWHELMING MEDICATION REFILL REQUESTS, we ask you to give us 24 hours to fill the prescription.