What should I do if there are pets at my long-term care facility or assisted living facility?
Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. However, it appears that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals after close contact with people with COVID-19.
Until we learn more about how this virus affects animals, use similar precautions for pets and other animals in your facility as you would for other people in your facility. This will help protect both people and pets in your facility from COVID-19.
- Do not let pets in the facility interact with sick people.
- Pets or other animals should not be allowed to roam freely around the facility.
- Residents should avoid letting their pets interact with people as much as possible.
- Dogs should be walked on a leash at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from others.
- People sick with COVID-19 should avoid contact with pets and other animals.
- Do not allow pets into common areas of the facility such as cafeterias and social areas.
- Cats should be kept indoors to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people outside of the facility.
Talk to a veterinarian if a pet in your facility gets sick or if you have any concerns about the health of any pets in the facility. If you think a pet in the facility was exposed to or is showing signs consistent with COVID-19, contact your state health official to discuss guidance on testing pets or other animals for the virus that causes COVID-19.
People who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid providing care for sick pets, if possible.
For more information, visit CDC’s If You Have Pets webpage.
See also: Pets and other animals