An update to our previous e-bulletin
OVMA Special E-Bulletin
March 18, 2020
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Coronavirus Crisis

ODH order on elective surgery – UPDATE

We are aware that you have received conflicting information on the permissibility of elective surgeries in veterinary medicine. We apologize for the confusion this has caused you, your staff, and your clients.

This morning, we spoke with senior policy officials in Gov. DeWine’s office to clarify how the provisions of yesterday's order were applicable to veterinary medicine. What we shared earlier today in the e-bulletin accurately reflected the information as we understood it.

After sending our e-bulletin, however, we were made aware that it conflicted with information you received from the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board. As a result, we immediately reached back out to the governor’s office for clarification. We have received the following clarification from the governor:

“At yesterday’s daily update on COVID-19, Dr. Acton announced an order limiting elective surgeries in light of the demand for medical supplies and the need for personal protective equipment. As a follow-up to this announcement, the Governor’s office sent out communication that said this order would include elective surgeries for animals. After further review, it needs to be clarified the Director of Health’s order did not include elective surgeries for animals."

Please be aware that the governor's office also indicated that "in the coming days the Director of the Ohio Department of Health will be signing an order clarifying that veterinarians will be included as part of the directive regarding elective surgeries. In the interim, it is [the governor's office's] hope that Ohio’s veterinarians will partner with the state in the preservation of Personal Protective Equipment/necessary medical supplies needed for the ongoing health emergency."

In the current environment of rapidly evolving and changing information, we strive to be as complete and accurate as possible while also providing information in a timely manner. Unfortunately, there obviously can be miscommunications and misunderstandings, as occurred in this instance. We know this can be frustrating and confusing for all involved, and we hope the above has clarified the situation for you.

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