Interactive maps: COVID-19 and the veterinary profession

The following maps present different lenses to view the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on veterinary medicine and veterinary professionals. They’re interactive, allowing users to zoom in and out and hide or show specific data layers when more than one variable is shown. Practices can use the data to make informed and strategic decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic that best support the delivery of critical services to patients and clients, while keeping veterinary teams safe.

Map 1: COVID-19 cases

See current COVID-19 cases at the county level, updated twice per day with data from Johns Hopkins University. Larger red dots indicate a higher number of confirmed cases. Zoom in to see total number of cases and deaths in each county.

   

   
What it means for veterinary practices

Counties with a higher number of reported COVID-19 cases are likely experiencing a more severe outbreak in their area. This could translate into stricter social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders. While it’s always important to adhere to safety guidelines, it’s especially critical in these “hot spots.”

What you can do
  • AVMA provides guidance that may help protect the health and safety of team members and clients, information about how to minimize COVID-19 exposure in your practice, and triage support to assist with meeting the needs of individual patients in the time of COVID-19.
  • Follow your state and local orders related to veterinary practices as essential businesses, telemedicine, and restrictions that may be placed (or lifted) on the delivery of particular services.
  • Reach out to clients to let them know your veterinary clinic is open for business and make them aware of any new offerings you’ve introduced to help support them and meet their animals’ healthcare needs during COVID-19.

Map 2: Veterinary practices and COVID-19

View the density of veterinary practices at the county level. Darker shades of blue indicate more practices in that area. Click on a county to see the total population and number of veterinary practices. Move the slider across the map to view COVID-19 cases and veterinary practices.

  

 
What it means for veterinary practices

Counties that have a higher density of veterinary practices present more options for veterinary clients. Maintaining a strong relationship with clients is one way to set your practice apart. In areas that are heavily impacted by COVID-19, nurturing the veterinary-client-patient relationship is especially important. Communicating consistently and thoughtfully with animal owners during and after the pandemic can strengthen your relationships and pay dividends when the economy bounces back. Adopting creative approaches that allow you to deliver valuable veterinary services, while also keeping the safety of team members and clients top-of-mind, is key to long-term success.

What you can do
  • Get creative with new offerings and innovative strategies that can help your practice maintain revenue and reduce costs in an uncertain economy. Services you may want to explore include curbside care, home delivery, flexible payment plans, and inventory control. 
  • As you add new services and offerings, make sure clients are aware of the changes.

Map 3: Social vulnerability and COVID-19

View social vulnerability of counties as ranked by the CDC Social Vulnerability Index (SVI). The SVI provides a window to assess how your area may be impacted by COVID-19. According to the SVI, every community has a different reaction and vulnerability to natural disasters, including the pandemic. A variety of factors – including poverty, lack of access to transportation, and crowded housing – may weaken a community’s ability to prevent human suffering and financial loss in a disaster. These factors are taken into consideration in determining social vulnerability. Darker blue areas signify counties where populations are at greater risk when faced with a disaster. Areas with a value of 1 are the most vulnerable, with areas at 0 having the lowest vulnerability. Red dots indicate the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. If your practice is located in a high-vulnerability area, your clients may be at an economic and/or health disadvantage and more likely to be impacted by the pandemic.

 

What you can do
  • Knowing the social vulnerability of your area can help you put into place appropriate practices that protect your team, clients, and practice. AVMA provides guidance that can help  you protect the health and safety of team members and clients, a case management tool to help you minimize COVID-19 exposure in your practice, and triage support.
  • For clients who can’t leave their homes, telemedicine is a valuable tool you can use to triage patients and monitor their care without owners having to bring them into the clinic. Of course, you'll need to be sure that its use is medically appropriate and that you're following state and federal requirements around establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.
  • Maintaining cashflow and trimming expenses is especially critical, because practices in more vulnerable areas may be more deeply impacted than others. Explore innovative strategies that other veterinary practices are using to boost revenue and reduce operating costs.
  • In vulnerable areas you can expect there to be many animal owners either without jobs or with reduced income. It’s especially important to communicate proactively with clients about various approaches to treatment and their costs, and to make them aware of options that can help them pay for that care, including credit, financing, discounts, and deferred payments.

   

Data sources and terms of use

COVID-19 cases

Source: This layer is created and maintained by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at the Johns Hopkins University. This feature layer is supported by Esri Living Atlas team and JHU Data Services and is opened to the public and free to share. jhusystemsatgmail [dot] com (Contact Johns Hopkins.) Data sources: WHO, CDC, ECDC, NHC, DXY, 1point3acres, Worldometers.info, BNO, state and national government health departments, and local media reports.

CDC Social Vulnerability Index

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry/ Geospatial Research, Analysis, and Services Program. For more information please see the SVI website or contact the svi_coordinatoratcdc [dot] gov (SVI Coordinator).