Governor’s Update – Telemedicine + Major Disaster Relief

New Order Allows Telemedicine For Pets And Animals

In an effort to support COVID-19 “stay home” measures, pets and animals in Arizona can now be examined by their veterinarians through telemedicine, under a new Executive Order issued today by Governor Doug Ducey, ensuring pet owners don’t have to leave their home.

The order opens the door for the first time ever to allow veterinarians to provide medical services to animals, while the state works to slow the spread of COVID-19 through physical distancing measures. The order also prevents vets from charging more for telemedicine than for an office or in-person visit.

“Even as we physically distance, we want to ensure that pet owners and livestock producers can access the resources they need to properly care for animals,” said Governor Ducey. “This order allows veterinary professionals to carry out their commitment to caring for Arizona animals, including house pets and farm animals, while Arizona residents practice physical distancing and limit time away from home.”

The Executive Order takes effect today, April 1st, and remains in effect throughout the state’s Public Health Emergency. Under the order:

  • The use of telemedicine may be used by licensed veterinarians in Arizona;
  • The Arizona State Veterinary Medical Board may establish reasonable requirements and parameters for telehealth services, including recordkeeping, but such requirements and parameters may not be more restrictive or less favorable to providers than are required for veterinary medical services delivered in-person;
  • And veterinary providers cannot charge more for a telemedicine visit than they would for an in-person visit.

All electronic means of delivering veterinary telehealth, including telephone and video calls, to enable individuals to remain in their homes are allowed under the Executive Order. This measure allows veterinarians to continue to perform their duties and provide care to Arizona animals and allows pet owners to receive the care their pets need — while minimizing the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Last week, Governor Ducey issued an Executive Order requiring health care insurance companies to expand telemedicine coverage for all services that would normally be covered for an in-person visit. This action helps ensure that Arizonans who may be sick or under quarantine can access care from their homes and avoid potentially risky trips to a health care provider.

View the Executive Order expanding veterinary telemedicine HERE.

View information on COVID-19, resources and volunteer opportunities at ArizonaTogether.org.


Governor Ducey Requests Major Disaster Declaration for Additional Support in COVID-19 Response

In a letter to President Trump, Governor Doug Ducey today requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration from the federal government – a procedural step to pull down necessary federal assets and resources to assist Arizona’s COVID-19 response efforts.

Upon approval, the disaster declaration will provide access to expanded mental health care, supplement the efforts of tribal health care workers, provide grants to reduce the risk of loss of life or property during future emergencies, make available legal assistance to low-income Arizonans, expand food assistance and other services to low-income households impacted by COVID-19 and more.

“Arizonans have shown great resilience while coming together to support one another during this health emergency,” said Governor Ducey. “This declaration will help families, individuals, businesses and tribal communities in our state weather this storm and bounce back afterward stronger than ever. I’m grateful for the partnership and collaboration we’ve had with administrative officials and hope to see this request approved in full to aid Arizona’s COVID-19 response.”

If approved, the declaration will provide assistance to the following programs in Arizona:

Crisis Counseling Program;
Disaster Case Management;
Disaster Unemployment Assistance;
Disaster Legal Services;
Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program;
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program;
And any other appropriate Stafford Act disaster assistance programs.
On March 11, 2020, Governor Ducey issued a declaration of emergency for the state of Arizona, which is required to receive a federal declaration. Governor Ducey earlier this week issued a “stay home, stay healthy, stay connected” Executive Order to further slow the spread of COVID-19 while encouraging social connectedness. For a full list of Arizona’s actions, click HERE.

Additionally, the Governor launched the Arizona Together initiative to support Arizonans during the COVID-19 outbreak, connecting individuals and businesses to resources, raising money for community organizations and providing information on volunteer opportunities. A website, ArizonaTogether.org, serves as the centralized location for Arizonans to find help or provide support.

View the Presidential Major Disaster Declaration request HERE.

View daily Arizona updates HERE.

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