ELY - The Ely Vet Clinic recently opened an outdoor Wellness and Vaccination Clinic at the Miner’s Drive facility, to help alleviate the overwhelming backlog of client needs for pet care …
ELY - The Ely Vet Clinic recently opened an outdoor Wellness and Vaccination Clinic at the Miner’s Drive facility, to help alleviate the overwhelming backlog of client needs for pet care brought about by the coronavirus.
Last month, Dr. Chip Hansen completed construction of a gazebo in the woods adjacent to the clinic to give the staff another exam and basic care area to help catch up on the backlog. Because of the legal and medical protocols in place due to COVID-19, the flow of work was diminished, and the continuing demand for services challenged the clinic’s ability to get all the work done.
Since mid-July, veterinarians have staffed the outdoor clinic on Fridays to provide basic canine care.
“We are out here only on Fridays for now,” Dr. Allie Pace said as she updated clinic records at a laptop computer in the open-air workstation. “It is quiet and serene out here, and rather peaceful. I believe our clients like it, too.”
She noted that because of COVID-19 protocols, the Vet Clinic maintains a curbside pet drop-off and pick-up procedure for all services.
“Out here the owners can bring their dogs and sit on a nearby (socially distant) park bench to be near their canine and converse with us,” she said. “We are using this space only for dogs. Cats are cared for inside the building. We plan to maintain a Friday schedule for as long as the weather cooperates.”
During the initial COVID-19 shutdown, the Ely Vet Clinic was allowed only to provide emergency services, but when the state of Minnesota eased some of the restrictions regarding elective procedures, the backlog of appointments grew quickly.
The outdoor clinic features an exam table and scales, a cooler, and a computer work station. Fencing keeps the customers (the dogs, not the people) from bounding into the woods to go after a squirrel or other woodsy visitor.
“We give vaccines and take blood draws,” Dr. Pace said, “and do general wellness checks. We can weigh them, check teeth and ears and coat and other basic checks. Any diagnostics or sick dogs need to be cared for inside the clinic.”
She said appointments are booked up to four weeks out right now. “We have an incredible backlog of work to do, and this extra space out here is really helping.” Five clinic doctors rotate currently through the Friday outdoor clinic.