COVID-19

CVMA is here for you. During this unprecented public health crisis, we are working hard to fulfill our organizational mission of protecting animal and human health and welfare. Our goal is to keep you updated with the information you need to protect your health, the health of your families and practice team, and the health of your patients and clients. Check this page to see how COVID-19 is impacting veterinary professionals in Colorado, as well as a status listing of upcoming CVMA events and how to get in touch with us.

The latest updates

See below for the latest updates.

  • This page was last updated at 2:46 p.m. MT on May 8.
  • Click here to see the latest count of COVID-19 cases in Colorado on the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) website.
  • Click here to read all of the statewide executive orders on the governor’s website.
  • To do our part in helping to protect public health, CVMA staff will be working remotely until further notice.
    • There are lots of ways to get in touch with us! We’d love to hear from you and stay connected during this time.
      • Email: info@colovma.org
      • Text: 303.318.0447
      • Call: 303.318.0447 (we have limited ability to answer calls but please leave a voicemail and we will return your call if we miss you)

Timeline: Legal and regulatory updates

See the latest executive orders and public health orders relating to COVID-19 and veterinary practices in Colorado. Click here to see all the governor’s executive orders on the governor’s website.

    • 4/30 — Executive order extending the temporary suspension of state VCPR requirements (D 2020 046): Governor Polis issued an executive order temporarily suspending C.R.S. § 12-315-104(19)(b) that requires a VCPR be established by physically seeing and examining an animal. This means that a veterinarian can establish a VCPR using virtual or digital methods (telemedicine). The original order was originally published April 1 and was extended on April 30. The extended order expires 30 days from April 30. Click here to read our telemedicine FAQs.
    • 4/26 — Executive order and public health order regarding the recommencement of elective surgeries: Outlines the criteria and guidelines for medical, dental, and veterinary procedures to resume on April 27, 2020. Click here to read the full order on the governor’s website and click here to read the public health order issued by CDPHE.
    • 4/26 — Executive order and public health order regarding new “Safer at Home” phase of COVID-19 response: Outlines guidelines for “Safer at Home” phase in Colorado. Click here to read the full order on the governor’s website  and click here to read the public health order issued by CDPHE.
    • 4/17 — Executive order stating that workers in critical businesses wear masks (D 2020 039): Orders workers at critical businesses (veterinary practices are considered critical businesses) to wear medical or non-medical face coverings. Click here to read the full order on the governor’s website.
    • 4/6 — Executive order regarding transfer of prescription drugs (D 2020 029): This order temporarily suspends a provision that creates a basis for discipline against a licensed veterinarian for distributing a prescription drug outside of a VCPR. This permits a licensed veterinarian to donate or sell to the State of Colorado or any licensed healthcare facility in Colorado any currently unneeded prescription drugs that the licensed veterinarian has in the practice. Click here to read our FAQs about prescription drugs.
    • 3/25 — Statewide stay at home executive order (D 2020 017): Governor Polis issued a statewide stay at home order that orders Coloradans to stay at home. Some exceptions are permitted, including for employees of essential businesses such as veterinary care or livestock services. The order went into effect March 26. Click here to read the order.
  • 3/22 — CDPHE public health order (PHO 20-24): Defines “veterinary care and livestock services” as “critical businesses” that are exempt from a mandate to reduce in-person workforce by 50%. For veterinary professionals, this means veterinary care can continue as-is with the addition of social distancing and no non-essential surgeries and procedures. Click here to read the order.

“Safer at Home” phase and what it means for elective procedures

On April 26, Colorado Governor Polis issued executive orders outlining the “Safer at Home” period in Colorado as well as addressing the recommencement of elective surgeries. The “Safer at Home” period re-opens some non-essential businesses and loosens some restrictions on a variety of activities while continuing to strongly promote high levels of social distancing. The new phase allows local governments to modify the state’s new guidelines based on local conditions, meaning that some areas may extend stay-at-home orders. Additionally, elective surgeries and procedures may resume on April 27 with social distancing and PPE conservation efforts in place. Read our FAQs on what “Safer at Home” means for veterinarians.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

While it is not always advisable to reuse most personal protective equipment (PPE), under extreme circumstances in limited circumstances, some PPE may be reused as a strategy for conservation. Read recommendations from the AVMA based on information from the FDA and CDC. 

Veterinary practices as essential businesses (Public Health Order 20-24)

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued a public health order on March 22 defining essential businesses. The order was amended after Governor Polis’s executive “stay at home” order on March 25 to direct everyone except for those engaged in essential businesses to stay at home. Veterinary practices and livestock services are designated as essential businesses and are permitted to continue operating. Read our FAQs to see what constitutes an “essential business.” 

Coronavirus in animals

On April 22, the CDC announced the first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in two pet cats in New York. These are the first pets in the U.S. to test positive for SARS-CoV-2. At this time, there is no information available to suggest that pets might infect people with coronavirus. Read our FAQs about SARS-Co-V2 in animals.

Minimizing COVID-19 exposure in your practice

Keeping your staff, clients, patients, and self safe during COVID-19 is crucial. CVMA has gathered a robust collection of tips and resources for minimizing exposure in your practice. Click to read our tips and FAQs for minimizing COVID-19 exposure.

Telemedicine (Executive Orders D 2020 020 and D 2020 046)

In Executive Order D 2020 020 issued on April 1 and extended on April 30 (click here to read the original order and click here to read the extended order), Governor Polis temporarily suspended C.R.S. § 12-315-104(19)(b) that requires a VCPR be established by physically seeing and examining an animal. This means that a veterinarian can establish a VCPR using virtual or digital methods (telemedicine). This executive order was extended on April 30 and is now in effect until May 30. The FDA and DEA have also relaxed certain requirements during COVID-19. Visit our telemedicine FAQs page for more information.

Transfer of prescription drugs (Executive Order D 2020 029)

This order temporarily suspends a provision that creates a basis for discipline against a licensed veterinarian for distributing a prescription drug outside of a VCPR. This permits a licensed veterinarian to donate or sell to the State of Colorado or any licensed healthcare facility in Colorado any currently unneeded prescription drugs that the licensed veterinarian has in the practice. Click here to read our FAQs about prescription drugs.

Economic support for veterinary businesses and employees

Without a doubt, COVID-19 has impacted many veterinary businesses and their employees. Read more about what support is available to businesses and employees.

Wellbeing resources

It’s important to take care of your physical wellbeing during a crisis…but it’s also equally important to focus on mental health. The wellbeing of Colorado’s veterinary professionals is crucial to our veterinary community. Make sure you are taking care of yourself during this difficult time.

  • You’re not alone: Colorado Crisis Services provides free, confidential professional support 24/7. Call 1.844.493.8255 or text TALK to 38255.
  • How to deal with isolation and social distancing: Whether you consider yourself extraverted or introverted, humans are social beings, and the current social climate can be difficult for many of us. The good news is that humans are also inventive solution seekers. There are a variety of ways to stay connected to each other, such as live online exercise classes, FaceTime or Zoom calls, waving to neighbors on walks, and more. Many things are being offered online now, so you might have an opportunity to explore something that you might not have done otherwise. Get more ideas from the AVMA.
  • Managing uncertainty: Human beings like certainty. We are hard-wired to want to know what is happening when and to notice things that feel threatening to us.  When things feel uncertain or when we don’t generally feel safe, it’s normal to feel stressed. Learn steps to respond to uncertain times.
  • Tips for managing anxiety and stress: Learning how to cope with stress will make you, your staff, patients, and clients stronger. Get tips from the CDC.

Other updates and resources

  • CVMA resources for members: Many of CVMA’s regular offerings to members can help ease some of the stress and pain associated with COVID-19. Read below how CVMA’s resources can help you and your practice.
    • Career Center: Find a job, post a job all in the CVMA Career Center. Job-seekers can post their resume for free; employers enjoy members-only discounts on job postings. For the month of April only, CVMA is offering employers a 90-day listing for the price of a 30-day job posting. Learn more.
    • Relief listings: Looking to hire relief support? Looking to offer your services as a relief veterinarian? CVMA members receive FREE 30-day relief listings on the CVMA website. Learn more.
    • Peer Assistance Services: Your wellbeing matters. Get confidential support for yourself, or for a colleague in the profession who may be experiencing physical, emotional, psychological, or substance use problems. Peer Assistance Services, Inc. (PAS) provides services to veterinarians who may be experiencing physical, emotional, psychological, or substance use problems. The Colorado Board of Veterinary Medicine contracts with PAS and the program is funded by license fees. Learn more.
  • X-ray machine certification: The CDPHE announced March 17 it would exercise regulatory flexibility and provide an extension to the requirements for select radiation machine and facility certification evaluations as a measure to help prevent transmission of COVID-19. For those radiation machines and facilities that require an initial certification evaluation within 90 days of use as per Section 6.6.1.2 the department is providing an additional 90 days for the completion of the initial evaluation. Please note, the requirements of 2.5.1.5 and 2.5.1.6 still remain in force and an evaluation of those machines prior to being used to perform any human examination is still required. Radiation machines and facilities that are due for a certification evaluation, as per Section 2.5 of the Regulations, during the months of March, April, May and June of 2020 shall be granted a 6 month extension to complete that evaluation. Contact the X-ray Certification Unit with questions at 303.692.3448 or via email at cdphe.hmxraycomments@state.co.us.
  • Rabies testing: The CDPHE is asking veterinarians to send all rabies tests to the CSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for testing instead of to CDPHE.
  • Heartworm testing: The American Heartworm Society has released recommendations on heartworm testing, prevention, and treatment during COVID-19. Read the recommedations.
  • Additional resources
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