- As a medical facility, our office was designed to limit the spread of infectious disease – even the airflow and ventilation system were planned to prevent the spread of airborne pathogens. The ventilation system utilizes three separately zoned areas so that air is not exchanged between our lobby, exam rooms, treatment area, and surgery wing. Each exam room has its own air filter.
- Compass staff members follow CDC recommendations regarding frequent and proper hand washing and use of hand sanitizer. Staff members always wash their hands between patients.
- The waiting room, exam rooms, equipment and surfaces are cleaned and sanitized before and after every patient using a product that kills coronaviruses as well as other pathogens.
- Hand sanitizer and disposable tissues are available to our clients as well as our staff.
- Staff members who feel unwell stay home.
Due to the nature of Covid-19, and our strict sanitation standards, visitors to Compass Veterinary Clinic should not have any increased risk of infection by Covid-19, and may even be more protected than they would be at a facility that does not disinfect all surfaces at regular intervals throughout the day.
What is COVID-19?
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). COVID-19 is the disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus.
Is COVID-19 contagious to animals?
There are many coronaviruses in animals, but they rarely infect people. We are not yet sure if COVID-19 can be spread by animals. There is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread by pets. It is thought to have originated in bats and evolved through an intermediate animal host before being able to infect people.
As of this writing, one dog in Hong Kong has tested weakly positive for this virus; his owner was ill with COVID-19 at the time, however the dog still appears healthy. He may have tested positive secondary to environmental contamination (licking his owner’s face). According to the Hong Kong SPCA, your pet is extremely unlikely to become ill with COVID-19 and unlikely to spread it to other people. If you are interested in reading more on the risk COVID-19 presents to pets, check out these links:
Can I get COVID-19 from my pet?
At this time there is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as cats and dogs can spread the virus that causes COVID-19. The Oregon Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) recommends the following guidelines regarding caring for your pets if you do become ill:
- When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick.
- Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food.
- If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask to help prevent mechanical transmission of the virus from you to another person via your pet. If you are ill and pet your cat, for example, you can transfer germs to your cat’s fur that may not make the cat sick, but could infect whoever next pets the cat and picks those germs up.
If you would like more information on the risk of COVID-19 for pets, check out the OVMA’s article:
COVID-19 Coronavirus & Pets
Do you carry the vaccine for this disease?
There is not yet a vaccine against COVID-19 for humans or pets. Scientists are working on it.
So what should I do to prevent this disease from striking my family and my pets?
Follow WHO guidelines:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. (To see a WHO video on proper handwashing techniques check out WHO: How to handwash? With soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, always cough or sneeze into your elbow. Never cover a cough or sneeze with your hand – you will simply spread those germs to the next thing you touch.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Maintain more personal space between you and other people than you might usually.
- Vaccinate your pets as recommended by your veterinarian. Keep them as healthy as possible.
 Hollingsworth, Julia. “There’s No Evidence Your Pet Can Get Sick from Coronavirus. Here’s Why One Dog Tested Positive.” CNN, Cable News Network, 5 Mar. 2020, www.cnn.com/2020/03/02/asia/pets-coronavirus-spread-intl-hnk/index.html.
 “COVID-19 Coronavirus & Pets.” Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, Mar. 2020, www.oregonvma.org/care-health/zoonotic-diseases/coronavirus-faq.
 “Advice for Public.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 2020, www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public.