VIC COVID-19 Update28 Oct 2021
Under the Victorian Government mandatory vaccination COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions, veterinary staff should now have received their first vaccination dose. From 26 November 2021, to attend work, workers will also be required to provide evidence to their employer that they have received a second dose - unless they have a medical exemption.
Businesses are required to collect and record evidence of the vaccination status of workers.
Working with clients
At this stage there is no government mandated requirement for clients of veterinary practices to be vaccinated. The new ‘Open Premises’ Directions set out the circumstances when a business is required to check customer/client vaccination status. Some animal premises (such as zoos) are referenced in these directions, however veterinary clinics are not included.
Veterinary practices are not required to check vaccination status of clients and unvaccinated clients may access the veterinary practice subject to the practice's own policies.
This means that it is an individual business decision as to how you manage the issue of providing care to the animals of unvaccinated clients. In determining the approach for your own veterinary practices, you may consider:
- Low contact or zero contact consult procedures for unvaccinated clients
- Kerb-side consults for unvaccinated clients
- Scheduling vaccinated and unvaccinated clients in different times during the day
- Asking client’s animals to be brought in by a vaccinated person
- Maintaining COVID Safe practices
Managing your workplace
The AVA HR Advisory Service has recently received a high volume of enquiries from members across the country regarding COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace. Please be assured, as a member of the AVA you have access to the following resources which have been developed and made available by the AVA HR Advisory Service to assist you with these matters:
- COVID-19 Vaccine Workplace Guide
- COVID-19 Workplace Resource Toolkit
- COVID-19 Employee Resource Toolkit
- COVID-19 Vaccination Policy
Covid-19 in the workplace
Pet grooming guidelines
The Victorian Government restrictions on pet grooming created significant confusion and increased workload for veterinary clinics. To help resolve this the AVA has been working with a number of key stakeholders in the development of a set of pet grooming welfare guidelines. The aim of these are to give guidance to pet owners and pet groomers on when dogs and cats will require grooming to avoid welfare issues.
Welfare grooming as described in the guidelines can be assessed by an animal groomer and does not require a separate veterinary assessment or referral letter prior to grooming. This should help to relieve some of the pressure on veterinary clinics.
Further details can be found here.