Updates Regarding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak

See below for a message from PAWS NY regarding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. The safety of our clients and volunteers is of paramount importance to us.

What PAWS NY is Doing

No one in our community has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Effective today, we are suspending Housecall visits to all clients. Please know that this was not an easy decision. Unfortunately, the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is too great for our high-risk client base.

For our Volunteers: You should stop visiting your client(s). If you are willing and able, checking in on them via phone is highly encouraged. Clients’ isolation will be felt keenly during this difficult time, and we know how much they value their relationship with you.

PAWS NY will be shipping wee-wee pads to all clients to help while Housecall visits are suspended. We increased pet food deliveries last week and also plan to have pet food and litter shipped directly to clients in the next week.

Our team has suspended any new in-person intakes and cancelled this week’s volunteer orientation. We are looking into the possibility of virtual trainings on a temporary basis moving forward.

Staff called all active clients today to speak to them directly about the following:

  • Let them know that we are suspending services, specifically because their health and care is our priority.
  • Ask how they are feeling and determine whether they have any unmet needs unrelated to pet care, and if so, provide relevant resources.

An e-newsletter will go out updating supporters on how we are handling this situation, as well.

What Experts Tell Us about the Virus

Symptoms of COVID-19 commonly include fever, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath. Most people with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms and fully recover without complications. Less commonly, COVID-19 may lead to pneumonia, hospitalization or death.

People who are at most risk for severe illness are older adults or those who have chronic health conditions, such as lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and a weakened immune system.

The following is the updated guidance from the NYC Department of Health website:

  • Stay home. All New Yorkers — healthy or sick — need to stay home. You should only leave your home for essential tasks, such as work (if you cannot work from home), getting groceries and supplies or essential medical care. Try to use delivery services when possible.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds every time, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Do not touch your face unless you recently washed your hands.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Do not use your hands.
  • Do not shake hands. Instead, wave or elbow bump.
  • If you are an older adult or have any of the chronic health conditions listed above, avoid all unnecessary gatherings and events.  

How We Can Stay Informed

Here at PAWS NY, we are so grateful to all of our volunteers for their dedication, patience, and kindness as we work our way through this together. We hope the above information is helpful in increasing knowledge and reducing anxiety to some degree.

It was incredibly difficult for us to come to the decision to suspend Housecall services. We do not take the decision lightly, and greatly look forward to resuming services as soon as possible. Policies and recommendations will inevitably change as the situation unfolds. We will stay in touch regularly to keep you apprised of further changes. As we make our way through the weeks ahead, it’s important to remain informed and support one another.

Please reach out to the staff at PAWS NY if we can help you in any way.