COVID-19 FAQs: State requirements for veterinary practices

COVID-19 FAQs: State requirements for veterinary practices

Originally published: April 1, 2020 | Last updated: March 18, 2021


Here’s what veterinarians need to know about state restrictions and recommendations specifically targeting veterinary services and elective surgeries during Colorado’s COVID-19 response.

Are veterinarians permitted to do elective surgeries and procedures?

Yes, elective surgeries and procedures are permitted per Twelfth Amended Public Health Order 20 29

What veterinary-specific restrictions are in place right now?

The state has rescinded all state requirements for elective veterinary services. Click here to read the full order.

This order says it is the “Twelfth Amended” Public Health Order 20-29…what does that mean?

This order is an updated version of Public Health Order 20-29 that was originally issued in March 2020. That order suspended all elective surgeries and procedures in the state to conserve PPE resources and protect against COVID-19 transmission. After elective surgeries were re-authorized in 2020, this order was updated to include requirements and recommendations for veterinary practices, including the recommendation that practices do curbside services to reduce transmission.

What does this mean for our daily practice operations?

This order removes all the state requirements that had been established for veterinary practices, including but not limited to:

  • Curbside and drop-off appointments
  • Use of a universal exposure and symptom screening process for staff, pet owners, and visitors
  • Plans to reduce or stop elective surgeries if there is a surge of COVID-19 infections

Click here to read the prior version of this order to see the full list of what had been required for veterinary practices (scroll to page 19).

This order simply removes the state requirements. CVMA encourages veterinarians and their teams to maintain safe practices and to protect the health of their teams using whatever methods make the most sense given the practice’s unique circumstances.

Can I still do curbside?

Yes. Even though drop-off appointments and curbside care are no longer required by the state, veterinarians and their teams have discretion on what makes the most sense for their practice.

Can I still practice telehealth?

Yes. There is still an order in effect that permits veterinarians to practice telehealth without first establishing an in-person VCPR.

Do I still have to wear a mask?

Yes. There is still a statewide mask mandate in effect for everyone in Colorado through April 4 — this mandate may continue to be extended.

Should I still keep screening protocols and social distancing in place?

The AVMA recommends veterinary practices maintain a level of caution in the practice as veterinary staff continue to get vaccinated. Click here to read AVMA tips on continuing to keep veterinary teams safe.