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Ontario Veterinary Medical Association

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ

OVMA members may have questions about the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. The Ontario Ministry of Health is providing information on the following topics: 

  1. Status of cases in Ontario
  2. Coronaviruses
  3. The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
  4. Current affected areas
  5. Travellers returning from affected areas
  6. Laboratory testing
  7. How Ontario is preparing
  8. Symptoms and treatment
  9. How to protect yourself


OVMA letter to the Ministry of the Soliciter General: veterinary medicine as an essential service

Companion animal practice guide to elective and essential services

In allowing veterinary practices to remain open, the province has placed tremendous trust in the veterinary profession to operate in a manner that, to the extent possible, prevents the spread of COVID-19. To that end, OVMA has worked with Dr. Scott Weese to develop a guide to practicing companion animal medicine in a manner that protects both veterinary staff and clients during the current pandemic. View the companion animal practice guide to elective and essential services.

COVID-19 checklist for practices

The COVID-19 outbreak is necessitating significant changes in how veterinary practices carry out their day-to-day activities. It will also require practices to plan for possible contingencies, including the potential temporary closure of the practice. To assist members in this regard, OVMA has developed a checklist that sets out actions a practice should take to safeguard employees and clients and plan for the future.

Guide to keeping your practice afloat

OVMA has developed a step-by-step guide to help keep your practice afloat financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guide to keeping your personal finances afloat

OVMA has developed a guide to help keep your personal finances afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Smart.Vet telehealth service

OVMA's new member service, Smart.Vet, allows you to offer clients remote consultations by text, phone or video via a telehealth platform branded for your practice. OVMA members receive a special discounted rate. Learn more about Smart.Vet or sign up for the service.

COVID-19 employment law webinar 

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised a host of questions concerning veterinary practices' ability to take certain actions to stay afloat during the crisis. To address these questions and other issues, OVMA hosted a webinar on COVID-19 employment law featuring a presentation by Jordan Morelli and Tamara Ramsey from Dale & Lessmann LLC, which provides legal counsel to OVMA. Watch the webinar recording or view the presentation slides. 

For more questions and answers regarding employment law, visit our COVID-19 Employment Issues web page.

Practice supplies

Veterinary Purchasing has advised OVMA that it has no inventory of surgical masks, and that masks may not be replenished until this summer. The inventory of surgical gloves is also low.

  • Consider re-using masks to extend the lifespan of your current supply (see Dr. Scott Weese’s Worms & Germs blog on the subject).
  • Consider whether to postpone elective procedures that require use of a mask and gloves.
  • While practices should avoid hoarding products, ensure you have a reasonable supply of other essential products in case of supply chain interruptions.

OVMA has also received reports of surgical masks being stolen from veterinary clinics. Practices should keep masks in a secure location during the COVID-19 outbreak.


COVID-19 updates (NewsHound)

April 3: Province updates list of essential services: impact on veterinary practices

April 3: Wellness webinar, CFIA extension deadlines, resources for bovine practitioners, OIP office is moving

April 2: More federal wage subsidy details, watch our wellness webinar

April 1: Federal wage subsidy details, staff exposure, Canadian Emergency Response benefit, employment insurance, wellness webinar

March 30: Federal wage subsidy, employment law Q&As, free classified ads, request for ventilators, protecting farm biosecurity, practice survey #2 results

March 26: Employment law webinar recording, guide to keeping your practice afloat, federal and provincial assistance, protocol for staff falling ill, practice survey #2, well-being webinars

March 24: Veterinary services declared essential, COVID-19 employment law webinar, donating PPE

March 23: Resources for bovine and equine practitioners

March 20: Health and safety advice, CVO guidelines on after-hours service and records transfer, parasite season, practice survey results

March 19: Flea/tick/heartworm protocols, PPE, government funding, COVID-19 practice survey

March 17: Potential mandatory closure, MyVetStore for online ordering/delivery, practice finances

Other resources:

Dr. Scott Weese is providing updates on the coronavirus in pets on his Worms & Germs blog.

The College of Veterinarians of Ontario is providing updates on its Coronavirus web page.

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association is providing updates on its website.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has produced an infographic on how the virus is spread and what you can do to reduce the likelihood of contracting the disease.

View travel advice from the federal government during the current outbreak. 

The Ontario Human Rights Commission has issued a statement regarding COVID-19.

Employers may have questions regarding employee travel during the outbreak. View answers to some basic questions. (source: Hicks Morley)

Tips to protect yourself and your loved ones. (source: Morneau Shepell)

Coronavirus frequently asked questions. (source: Medcan)

View Public Health Ontario's self-isolation guide for caregivers, household members and close contacts.

Use the Ontario Ministry of Health's COVID-19 self-assessment tool.

LifeLearn has created a client handout to help veterinarians communicate with clients about COVID-19.

Additional information will be added as it becomes available.


420 Bronte Street South,
Suite 205,
Milton, Ontario L9T 0H9
Phone: 905.875.0756 / (toll free) 1.800.670.1702  



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