The New Normal: Vet clinics adjust operations amid the pandemic


The coronavirus has impacted almost every industry. Businesses across the country have had to adjust operations to implement countless safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If you haven’t taken your pet to the vet lately, you might be surprised by all the changes.

At Ali’i Animal Hospital and Resort, pet owners must wear a mask and wait outside while a pet is being seen by a veterinarian. Only staff is allowed inside the clinic.

“So what happens is for regular routine appointments, clients will pull up into our driveway, they’ll give us a call when they’re outside, and one of our technicians will come outside with a mask and gloves and bring the pet inside,” Dr. Joanna Cook of Ali’i Animal said.

Dr. Cook said clients will have the opportunity to explain what’s wrong with their pet when a technician comes to their car in the parking lot.

“Then the doctor will go ahead and perform the physical exam and call the owner over the phone with any recommendations or therapy recommended,” Dr. Cook said.

Ali’i Animal hospital has made cleanliness a top priority.

Even though no clients are allowed inside the clinic, the staff routinely sanitizes and wipes down surfaces. They even sanitize the boarding kennels daily.

“Sometimes for respiratory cases we are going to gown up. So any dog or cat that’s coughing, sneezing, showing any signs of respiratory disease, we do gown up and wear an eye mask as well,” Dr. Cook said about their extra safety precautions.

While Ali’i Animal is accepting walk-in appointments, the pet hospital and resort is asking clients to call ahead, so their staff can prepare.

Dr. Joanna Cook said she understands that some people may be frustrated with all the changes, but she hopes they can be patient with the new protocols.

“We’re trying to provide the best service possible, under the circumstances, and although it may be a little bit frustrating that you’re not in the traditional hospital setting, in the exam room, sitting with the veterinarian and having a conversation face-to-face, we’re still doing the same medicine. We’re still practicing a high standard of care, and it’s just the communication that’s altered a bit,” Dr. Cook said.


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