AtlasVet has been forced to undergo many policy changes over the past week and our clients and our staff likely have whiplash from constantly needing to adjust to the dynamic nature of the outside world. AtlasVet has been proactive in responding to the COVID-19 threat and external forces have led to the need for our changes in policy. These policies need to be fluid and sadly, we expect more changes in the future. Please see COVID-19 PROTOCOLS AT ATLASVET section of the website.
We cannot begin to tell you how proud of our staff we are and how lucky we feel to have the staff that we do. They have been coming to work under less than ideal circumstances, concurrently dealing with the stress of their own daily lives and have been making individual sacrifices in order to do so. Our staff sees the difference they are making in our client's lives. AtlasVet has an ethical obligation to take care of our patients and our amazing staff continues to take that seriously.
Dr. Miller and I have spent the past week reviewing articles, recent CDC and DC Health Department recommendations and have talked to other clinic owners who have had to deal with closing due to COVID positive staff members. We have discussed our protocols with other local veterinarians who are enacting similar changes and had discussions with The Cornell University Veterinary School around their current policies.
AtlasVet is classified as an essential business so we will be allowed to stay open even if a "Shelter in Place" policy is enacted by DC, VA or MD.
Our goal is to continue to stay open as safely as we can so that we can both provide for our employees AND provide an essential service to the local community and their pets. Making sure our employees are safe, have a paycheck and no interruption to their healthcare is paramount. The policies we are going to enact have the above goals in mind. AtlasVet policies are going to be of the strictest kind. Client/staff interactions must be kept to a minimum to protect our employees and our clients. We ask that you, our clients, also obey CDC Guidelines around hand washing and social distance in your private lives.
We do not know what is going to happen in the upcoming months. We are still a small business with financial needs and goals. Closing may become an inevitable eventuality. But, in the meantime, if we are going to succeed at the above goal, we need our clients and our staff on board and pulling in the same direction.
We hope this is the last time we will need to make a major policy shift, but we will need to continue to adapt to a very dynamic and unpredictable external situation. We appreciate our #AVFaithful and your flexibility. We are all in this together and AtlasVet will sink or swim based on how we all respond together.
Dr. Miller and I believe that we will prevail and we will do so because we have the Best Staff and Best Community in DC.
Thank you always,
Dr. Matthew Antkowiak and Dr. Christopher Miller