Carver County cat confirmed to have virus that causes COVID-19

A pet cat in Carver County, Minnesota was confirmed to be infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans, officials said Tuesday.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the cat's infection was confirmed seven days after its owner was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19. There is also a dog in the household, but the veterinarian said it remains healthy.

The veterinarian reported that the cat presented at the clinic with a 105F temperature and symptoms consistent with upper respiratory illness. They said the cat was healthy five days after the initial clinic visit, but it was recommended that the cat remain isolated at home for 14 days following the positive test results.

The veterinarian chose to collect a sample for SARS-CoV-2 testing based on the symptoms and the fact that the owner was confirmed to have COVID-19. All veterinary clinic staff reported wearing personal protective equipment including face masks when interacting with the owner and handling the cat to limit any potential spread of the virus.

State Veterinarian, Dr. Beth Thompson said there is currently "no evidence that pets play a role in spreading COVID-19 to people or other animals."

While this is the first confirmed animal detection in Minnesota, it’s not the first in the U.S. The USDA announced cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in April in two pet cats in New York. The USDA is tracking all positive results in animals on its website.

If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would around other people. 

For more information about the virus in animals and recommendations for pet owners, click here.


MDH has three hotlines for questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The hotline for health questions is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The number to call is 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903. 

The hotline for community mitigation (schools, childcare, business) questions is also open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The number to call is 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504. 

The hotline for housing questions is 651-296-8215 for single-family residences and 651-297-4455 for multi-family residences. The hotline is staff Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

The state has also launched a helpline for people to report incidents of bias or discrimination resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. The number to call is  1-833-454-0148. Translation and interpretation services are available. 


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. 

It can also spread when people touch surfaces that have been contaminated by an infected person and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.

Some recent studies have also suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscles aches, headache, sore throat or diarrhea. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and you can manage them at home, MDH says you do not need to go to the doctor or get tested. Instead, you should do the following: 

Stay home
Wash your hands often
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Avoid sharing personal household items like dishes, towels, bedding, etc. 
Clean surfaces you touch often
If your symptoms worsen or you notice any of the emergency warning signs (trouble breathing, ongoing pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or not being able to wake up, bluish lips or face), call your health can provider right away. 

People are advised to call their doctor or clinic before going in, if possible. They will give you instructions to help protect you and other patients. 


The CDC and MDH recommend Minnesotans do the following to protect themselves and their loved ones and limit the spread of COVID-19: 

Stay home and avoid gatherings with people outside of your household
Keep 6 feet of space between yourself and other people when you do go out
Wash your hands often
Cover your coughs and sneezes 
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
Clean surfaces that you touch often 
The CDC is now recommending people wear face masks in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain such as grocery stores and pharmacies as well as in areas that are seeing significant community transmission of the virus. 

In Minneapolis and St. Paul, masks are now required indoors. 

Wearing a mask can not only prevent you from getting sick, but also helps people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.