Hearing that the WHO (World Health Organization) has classified COVID-19 as a pandemic can be frightening and now that there are confirmed cases in South Africa, as well as the Western Cape, what once seemed like a distant threat seems to be creeping closer to home.
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus, spreading through small droplets from the nose or mouth. This human contact also poses a threat to TAH. Although we have animal patients, we are a people business and the safety of our employees and our clients is of utmost concern.
For that reason, we have stepped up our already stringent measures to safeguard our customers and staff. These include:
- Pet owners are encouraged to continue keeping their pets healthy through regular veterinarian visits. These owners are, however, are kindly requested not to have more than one person accompany a pet when visiting the veterinarian.
- For pet discharges please ensure only one member of the family fetches their pet as per the allocation time advised by the relevant staff member.
- Hand sanitiser will be available to all members of the public at the reception of all TAH practices and vet shops. We kindly request your co-operation to disinfect your hands – on arrival and departure. Note this is not only for your and other customers’ protection but for our staff so we can continue to offer you and your pet high-quality care.
- The hospital side of practices (including consultation rooms) is disinfected thoroughly as per medical protocol. These disinfectant measures will now be extended to the reception area and any area where human contact can take place. Our staff will increase the disinfection of all electronic computers, telephone, etc that gets used on a daily basis.
- Staff suffering from flu or experiencing even the mildest symptoms of the common cold will be staying at home for their full recuperation period, so our facilities will remain disease-free zones. They will only return to work once they are fully recovered and as per WHO and medical practitioner guidelines.
- People will be discouraged to visit their animals when in hospital, to protect the pet, owner, and staff.
We would like to extend our stringent measures to our customers for their own safety with the following WHO protocol:
- Please disinfect your hands-on arrival and departure with an alcohol-based disinfectant supplied by TAH at the reception desk.
- If you are displaying cold/flu symptoms our receptionist will kindly ask you to remain in your vehicle and they will call you when the vet is available. You will also be asked to wear a face mask to prevent staff from coming into contact with any germs.
- WHO advised not to sit within 1m from other customers in the waiting areas. We understand our waiting rooms may become congested, and therefore once again encourage you to wait in your vehicle if this is the case until called upon. (kindly inform the receptionist).
- We only use reputable suppliers adhering to the most stringent hygiene standards. We will continuously monitor this to ensure we deliver only the best quality products to our customers.
Below please find recommendations on how to reduce your chances of contracting COVID-19, but essentially keep your hands clean and protect your face!
- Clean and/or disinfect your hands regularly and thoroughly with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
- Maintain at least 1-metre distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance.
- Avoid traveling to places affected by the coronavirus.
- We strongly recommend you go for a flu injection as soon as possible. This will assist in easier identification of COVID-19 and prevent the risk of developing both conditions at the same time, which worsens the severity of both diseases.
Images below source: Weimankow