COVID-19 and NJ Veterinary Practices

COVID-19 and NJ Veterinary Practices


Healthcare Professionals Called To Serve

April 1, 2020

NJ is in need of help from qualified health, mental health, and related professionals to supplement the healthcare capacity on a temporary basis. If you are willing and able to support the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, please click on the link below to provide your information. By submitting your information, you are not committing to deployment; the NJ Department of Health will reach out with more details if your skillset can help in response to COVID-19.

Click here to volunteer.



Guidance on Veterinary Procedures During the Pandemic

April 1, 2020

To reduce the burden on NJ’s health care system and protect frontline medical responders given the foreseen dramatic shortfall in personal protective equipment, Executive Order No. 109 mandates the suspension of all elective surgeries and invasive procedures performed on adults after 5 p.m. on March 27. EO 109 applies to all medical and dental operations that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of the patient, as determined by the patient’s physician or dentist.

While veterinarians are not mentioned in name in EO 109, the NJVMA strongly encourages all NJ veterinarians to suspend elective surgeries, non-emergency procedures, and well visits in order to abide by the spirit of the order to limit exposure risk and conserve needed personal protective equipment.

Click here for more details.

For non-elective cases that typically require the use of protective equipment, such as gloves and masks, please review the latest from the AVMA on conservation of these supplies: AVMA Tools.



Helping You Comply

April 1, 2020

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act goes into effect April 1, 2020, requiring certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave and expanded family leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

Here are two documents to help with your compliance:

  1. COVID-19 Scenarios & Benefits Available – Describes various scenarios for employees being out of work and which benefits apply to them in
    each scenario.
  2. Employee Rights Poster – Required to be posted in a conspicuous place in your place of work.



What You Need to Know About the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Video/Teleconference | Replay is Now Available!

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which goes in to effect Wednesday, April 1, 2020, will require significant changes to your policies for dealing with employees who need or want time off from work during the Pandemic.

To ensure you know about and understand the new rules, NJVMA hosted a members-only video/teleconference on Friday, March 27, with expert HR/Labor attorneys Mark Kluger and Bill Healey. The session focused on the new law and answered questions about:

  1. Covered Employers
  2. Eligible Employees
  3. Amount of Leave
  4. Reasons for Leave
  5. Exemptions
  6. Compensation

This event is for NJVMA Members only. Click here for more details and to view the recording.



Personal Protective and Medical Equipment Intake Form

March 26, 2020

As we previously announced, on Tuesday, March 24, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 109, which requires any business, non-hospital health care facility, or institution of higher learning in possession of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, respirators, or anesthesia machines not required for the provision of critical health care services to undertake an inventory of these supplies and send that information to the State by 5:00 pm on Friday, March 27.

This information should be submitted via the new website at covid19.nj.gov/ppereport. This site allows for the collection of both inventories required under E.O. 109 and also has a section that allows for the submission of PPE that is available for donation to facilities in need.

This required PPE/anesthesia equipment submission must be completed by 5:00 pm on Friday, March 27.

We recommend members retain copies of their inventory lists and ensure they have model/serial numbers and photographs of any equipment they include on the list. The state has not yet released plans to actually procure any of these supplies/this equipment. In the event that does occur the NJVMA is actively pursuing what, if any, reimbursement options members may have for their property.



Telemedicine

The NJVMA agrees with the AVMA position that telemedicine is a useful adjunct for providing care to patients that already have a physically-established VCPR. New Jersey Veterinarians may look at the state’s proposed telemedicine rules which, although not adopted yet, have been approved for adoption by the state Board. Veterinarians should comply with the specifics in the unadopted regulations, but generally, veterinarians should determine if they can provide services through telemedicine to the same standard of care as they would if those services were provided in person. If they cannot do so in their professional judgment, they should not provide services through telemedicine. NJVMA Veterinarians interested in providing this service should review the telemedicine rules here.

The FDA temporarily has temporarily suspended enforcement of a portion of federal VCPR requirements during COVID-19 outbreak. It is important to note the suspension only applies to relevant to FDA regulations governing extra-label drug use in animals and veterinary feed directives (VFD). This rule revision should not be interpreted as allowing veterinarians to freely use telemedicine as this is dependent upon the provisions of each individual state's practice act to see new cases. View the new guidance document for full details.



NJ Mandates PPE and Anesthesia Equipment Inventory, Suspends Elective Surgeries

March 23, 2020, 4:30 pm

NJ Governor Phil Murphy has signed Executive Order No. 109 requiring any business or non-hospital health care facility, including but not limited to dental facilities, construction facilities, research facilities, office-based healthcare or veterinary practices, and institutions of higher learning, in possession of PPE, ventilators, respirators, or anesthesia machines that are not required for the provision of critical health care services to undertake an inventory of such supplies and send that information to the State by no later than 5 pm Friday, March 27, 2020. The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) will establish a process by which entities subject to this provision can submit this information.

This information should be submitted via covid19.nj.gov/ppereport. This must be completed by any business with this equipment by 5:00 pm on Friday, March 27.

Executive Order 109 also mandates the suspension of all elective surgeries and invasive procedures performed on adults that are scheduled to take place after 5 p.m. on March 27. The order applies to all medical and dental operations that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of the patient, as determined by the patient’s physician or dentist. While veterinarians are not mentioned in name in this respect, the NJVMA strongly encourages all NJ veterinarians to suspend elective surgeries, non-emergency procedures, and well visits in order to limit exposure risk and conserve needed personal protective equipment.

Executive Order 109 is intended to reduce the burden on NJ’s health care system and protect frontline medical responders given the foreseen dramatic shortfall in personal protective equipment.

We will continue to provide updates to our members as they become available. Members are encouraged to reach out to the NJVMA office, or email us at njvmacovid@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.



NJ Governor Murphy Has Issued A “Stay-at-Home” Mandate, Effective 9 pm Saturday, March 21, 2020

March 21, 2020, 1:45 pm

NJ Governor Murphy has issued a “stay-at-home” mandate, effective 9 pm Saturday, March 21, 2020 until further notice. All gatherings, regardless of their size, must be cancelled, including weddings, parties, meetings, etc. In addition, all retail businesses are required to be closed until further notice. All non-retail businesses are required to implement work-from-home protocols for all employees, as able.

Veterinary service locations have been specifically named as one of the “certain essential businesses and facilities considered exempt from these closures” and are thus permitted to stay open during this mandate. Social distancing guidelines must be followed for facilities that continue operation.

The NJVMA agrees with AVMA recommendations that routine wellness appointments and elective surgeries should be suspended at this time.

Businesses are encouraged to give each employee a letter indicating that the employee works in an industry permitted to continue operations.
Click here for a template letter for this use.

Please visit https://covid19.nj.gov for significant important information for employers and individuals. Employees can also visit nj.gov/labor for information about workplace benefits.



NJVMA Facebook Live Town Hall Meeting

March 21, 2020

View the replay by accessing the NJVMA Facebook Page.

Download the Town Hall meeting notes here.

The management staff and Board of the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association have been working around the clock to address the many concerns of our industry constituents, including working with governmental entities involved in the regulation of our services to ensure the stability of our profession in the face of this pandemic.

During this session, we:

  • Provided updates on how the NJVMA has been working behind the scenes in support of our profession
  • Discussed pertinent legislative and regulatory topics related to COVID-19
  • Addressed questions from participants

Valuable resources mentioned in the NJVMA Townhall meeting: