OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Ridgeview Animal Hospital near 180 St. and Center St. is open.
They've stayed opened as they are considered essential for public health and animal care, but business has changed for them in recent weeks.
"So we could no longer do elective surgeries per governor's orders, any spays, neuters or routine dental procedures, and so business was down as well," said veterinarian Joanne Gaines. "And then we were trying to conserve PPE. So not doing anything elective for the most part, just doing what needed to be done."
They also cut their staff hours by 25%.
"Everybody has stayed employed, and then we are starting to ramp back up to regular hours for everyone which is nice," Gaines said. "And then starting Monday, we can do elective surgeries again, so we should be full staffed next week and hopefully back to full schedule."
To continue seeing patients, they've had to change the way they do things - first and foremost, extra sanitizing.
"The mantra here is wash like every patient has ringworm. So we're just trying in between every appointment to wash in between everything you touch."
And only the animals are allowed inside of the hospital.
"We want our clients to be safe; we want to be safe. Six-foot distancing is hard in an exam room, so if we have a husband and a wife and their child bring in their puppy, and then I walk in the room, that's a lot of people in a 10X10 room."
So they're offering curbside services. When clients pull up, they call the front desk, and a technician goes out to bring in the animal.
"They go and meet the client out on the curb and swap leashes, bring the pet in, and then the vet does everything I usually would do, but I'm usually with a client face-to-face."
During and after the exam, the vets and clients meet using an app called Airvet.
"All of the vets had it already on our phones, and we had already used it. So when COVID started, what we did was we transitioned and started using it as a Facetime type thing during the exam," Gaines said. "They login, they request a call from me, I call them on it and we can see each other. So during the exam, they are watching what I am doing, and I am able to show them what's on their animal or explain - like today for an exam, showed a client how to brush teeth, which isn't easy to do over the phone."
RIdgeview Animal Hospital
LOCATION: 18142 Wright St. Omaha, NE 68130
HOURS: Monday - Friday: 8AM - 6PMSaturday: 8AM - 12PM
ADJUSTED SERVICES: Curbside only, Airvet