COVID-19 update from Team Farm Vets
Kia ora everyone
Firstly, sorry about the delay in getting this information to you. We have been waiting on the NZ Vet Association and NZ Vet Council to provide guidance to us, after consultation with Government. We held a staff meeting yesterday and are now able to provide you with an idea of what the next four weeks will entail for you, our clients.
Again, as I’m sure you are aware this is a dynamic situation and is all subject to change.
Firstly, Loren and I would like to thank all of our staff, as they have remained 100% dedicated and committed to providing the farmers of the region a fully functional (but down regulated) service to ensure your farms and animals are adequately cared for in these challenging times.
Secondly, we would like to commend our suppliers for the haste that they have achieved essential service status to ensure that there will be minimal disruption to our business.
Our directive here is to minimise the spread of COVID 19 whilst maintaining a level of service to our clients to ensure their farming operations are able to proceed “normally”. But we are also committed to ensuring our staff and clients (and their families) remain safe from potential infection.
Level of Service
Today, Wednesday 25 March, will be business as usual and our normal working hours.
From Thursday 26 March, our business hours will alter slightly to Gisborne 7am-5pm, Wairoa 8am-5pm.
Current cattle scanning bookings will go ahead and we will continue to make bookings for the foreseeable future.
To ensure the safety of our staff, no other person is to be on the catwalk whilst our vets are pregnancy testing. This will mean no animal health products will be administered to cattle concurrently. This seems to be the only sensible solution to the social distancing policy from the Government.
We will honour our current conveyer bookings but no further bookings are to be made while the country remains at a COVID 19 Alert Level 4.
However, to ensure their safety we will not allow anyone from the farm they are attending, on the conveyor with them. This means they will only be able to do what they are capable of i.e. 2 people means 2 jobs. This is to ensure we meet the Government’s social distancing policy.
Client enquires regarding additional bookings will be assessed on a case by case basis and will need to be discussed with a veterinarian prior, to ensure the issue is essential or a veterinary emergency.
The clinic will be open for client pickups, however we ask that you contact the clinic directly on Gisborne 068688616, Wairoa 068383832 or Mark Greene on 0273216546 or firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure your order has been placed and can be made up for you – again to this is to maintain the Governments social distancing policy. We ask that you give us 24hrs notice to collate the orders. There will be no tolerance for walking up to the building and trying to pick up product.
When you arrive at the clinic please report to the main office and liase with the receptionist to ensure your order is ready. The receptionist will then open the roller doors/front door and you will be able to take your order and load into your vehicle.
While we are at a COVID 19 Alert Level 4, we will be closed on Saturdays.
Health and Safety
We have implemented an Infectious Disease Policy and this will be available to read and assess at the clinic if you wish.
The basis of our COVID 19 health and safety plan is to reduce contact with people from outside the business and within the business. We will also aim to maintain cleanliness within the business that is sufficient to limit the potential spread of COVID 19.
If you have come into contact (or suspected) with a person who has potentially been infected with COVID 19 please contact us and let us know. You expect the same from us.
If you are sick, please do not be present at the booking on farm or collect product from the clinic.
While the country is at an alert level 4, farm bookings will be preceded by phone or email communication to ensure the farm is willing to accept the booking and to discuss requirements regarding 2m social distancing. We will ask that only the person(s) deemed essential for the job to be done efficiently and safely be present. We will also be asking if the farm has any health and safety requirement we may need to be aware of.
We have instructed staff that if and for any reason, staff decide they feel uncomfortable with the measures and the seriousness taken by the client (and their staff) and their preparation for COVID 19 measures, staff can discuss their issues with the owner/manager of the farm. If they are unsatisfied with the outcome, staff are well within the rights to leave the property.
Vets will be provided the ability to sanitize hands and objects while off site. This will most likely be in the form of soap/hand sanitizer and antiviral leave on spray.
With regard to the pick up of essential supplies; we will be encouraging forward orders (24hrs advance notice). Pickup for these orders can be prearranged and staggered to avoid congestion of clients. Social distancing must be strictly adhered to.
We will no longer providing for cash or EFTPOS sales. If a non-client is requesting a product then they will need to pay online prior to receiving the product.
Incoming goods will be surface sprayed with viral sanitizer as they enter the premise.
Incoming staff will need to wash or sanitize their hands on arrival. Soap/hand sanitizer will be available. The main door to the toilet will remain open allowing free access to the basin for handwashing.
With the exception of incoming deliveries, the aim is for the indoor office and warehouse to be ‘staff only’. The front door will be locked and the front roller door down. We will provide signage to direct clients to the front window to communicate with a staff member.
Vets are not allowed inside the indoor office. This is to ensure the safety of office staff.
A cleaning checklist will be devised based on spraying down of all touchable surfaces.
All staff are to follow the Government directions regarding COVID 19 and self-isolate whilst we are at a Level 4 status. It is pointless having these measures in place at work if the rules are not adhered to at home.
We will still be providing an emergency service for any large animal emergencies. The numbers to contact are Gisborne 068688616 or Wairoa 068383832.
We reserve the right to interpret what constitutes an emergency.
Supply Chain for Animal Health Products
The majority of our suppliers have been classified as essential services – this includes couriers.
We have been advised that there are no major supply shortages. However, there may be time delays getting stock to clinic.
Specifically, if you have placed orders for ToxoVax over the next 4-6 weeks, we have been advised that they will be no change to this supply. However, they may be arriving later in the week, so we ask that you make arrangements to ensure this is not an issue for you.
As with the supermarkets, there is no need to panic buy and over order. We will be looking at orders to ensure they are practical and reasonable.
I know this is a stressful situation for everyone – everyone will be coping with these measures differently. It is essential we help each other as a team. Look after everyone and ensure your social links remain strong over this time.
As usual, I will be contactable via phone 0275274229 or via email email@example.com
Nga mihi – be kind, be patient, be safe and stay at home
Andrew and Loren Cribb
Veterinarians and Owners of East Coast And Wairoa Farm Vets