EMC implements patient drop-off policy, suspends patient visitation in response to COVID-19

» Posted May 4, 2020

On April 29, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced in a briefing that Order of Public Health Emergency Two, which he signed almost six weeks ago to temporarily ban all elective procedures at Virginia hospitals, was allowed to expire at midnight on April 30. This expiration effectively means that medical facilities, including veterinary hospitals, across the commonwealth are now able to resume elective procedures.

We at the Equine Medical Center welcome this news and have received authorization from Virginia Tech administration to begin a transition to full clinical services.

On May 4, using a phased approach in consideration of reduced staffing and medical supplies, we will start scheduling elective appointments and procedures, beginning with patients currently on our waiting list.

The health and safety of our employees and clients will remain our primary focus. Our patient drop-off policy will remain in effect, and we will continue social distancing and other safety measures consistent with university policy and public health principles.

We extend our appreciation for the patience of our clients and referring veterinarians, as well as our gratitude to EMC faculty and staff for their dedication and professionalism.

» Posted April 8, 2020

The Foal Watch Volunteer Program has been canceled for 2020.

» Posted April 3, 2020

This week, updated guidelines were received from Virginia Tech, from the governors of Virginia and Maryland, and from federal authorities. EMC's social distancing policies, including its patient drop-off policy and suspension of patient visitation, are in line with public health guidelines regarding COVID-19 and were made in concert with the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and Virginia Tech.

The EMC continues to receive patients in need of emergency or urgent critical care. All other cases are placed on a waiting list that is reviewed regularly by the clinical team. Waiting list cases will be scheduled based on medical need and capacity (including space, equipment, supplies, and personnel) to provide these needed services. Clients will be contacted when an appointment can be made.

EMC has implemented innovative scheduling of staff to decrease the number of employees who are on-site while still enabling the performance of essential functions. This new process includes rotating schedules, working from home, or being on standby and reporting to duty only when called upon. Employees who must be on-site are asked to strictly adhere to the principles of social distancing and biosecurity to keep each other healthy and safe.

» Posted March 20, 2020

EMC is receiving only those patients in need of emergency or urgent critical care; all other patients are placed on a waiting list. If your horse is placed on our waiting list, we will contact you as soon as we are able to make your appointment.

To assist with call volume, we are temporarily directing all incoming calls to the EMC answering service. Please continue to call the main EMC number at 703-771-6800. Our answering service will take your message and relay it to our staff.

Patient visitation has been temporarily suspended until further notice.

» Posted March 16, 2020

A new drop-off policy for all diagnostic laboratory samples has been temporarily implemented, effective March 16, 2020.

  • A lab sample receiving station will be located in the admissions office.
  • Please do not use the driveway on the isolation building side of the EMC. 
  • There will be laboratory submission forms and containers to place samples in at the receiving station. 
  • EMC personnel will bring samples and submission forms from the receiving station to the diagnostic laboratory on a regular basis throughout the day.

April 14 Tuesday Talk: Canceled

Foal Volunteer Program: Suspended for 30 days, effective March 13, 2020

» Posted March 13, 2020

Due to concerns about the novel coronavirus and related disease (COVID-19), Virginia Tech’s Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center (EMC) is taking additional precautionary measures within the hospital to protect the health and safety of EMC employees and clients so that we can continue to provide essential veterinary care for our patients.

Effective March 16, 2020, the EMC will temporarily implement a new patient drop-off policy for all appointments, including emergencies, until further notice. EMC personnel will meet clients in the trailer parking lot closest to the admissions office entrance and bring horses in for care.

Following public health guidelines, including the principle of social distancing, only hospital personnel — clinicians, staff, and clinical students — will be allowed access to the EMC hospital complex, including the main hospital, the farrier shop, and the Youngkin Equine Soundness Clinic, until further notice. Clients will not enter the EMC hospital complex.

Communication between EMC personnel, clients, and referring veterinarians will occur by phone, email, or text whenever possible.

In addition, effective March 16, 2020, patient visitation will be temporarily suspended until further notice.

EMC personnel will contact clients directly with information about any scheduling changes needed for existing appointments.

What clients should do and can expect when they arrive at the EMC, effective March 16, 2020, until further notice:

  • Call 703-771-6800 when you arrive in the trailer parking lot.

  • Please remain with your vehicle and horse.

  • An EMC team member will greet you in the trailer parking lot with your admission forms and will bring your horse into the facility for evaluation.

  • After your horse is evaluated, the veterinarian will discuss a plan for your horse’s care with you by phone.

  • You will then receive a phone call from a client service team member to obtain a deposit via one of our payment methods:

    • Credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express) information will be accepted over the phone.

    • Online payments are accepted via our Online Payment Portal.

  • You will receive updates via phone, email, or text from your patient care team.

  • Your horse’s discharge process will be discussed via phone, and any remaining balance will be collected prior to discharge from the hospital.

Client drop-off policies

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Resources: COVID-19 outbreak (April 2020)

What do you need to know about coronavirus?

Frequently asked questions about Coronavirus Disease 2019

  • Centers for Disease Control

COVID-19 Frequently asked questions and answers

COVID-19 and animals