Free COVID Tests For Pets Now Available For Los Angeles County

For any pets that have possibly been exposed to the coronavirus, Los Angeles County is now going to be offering free COVID testing for our furry friends.

Earlier this week, The Veterinary Public Health Department announced the new free testing procedures that were promoted via social media on Saturday by the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

“Your pet may be eligible for free SARS-CoV-2 testing if they were exposed to a human or animal with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19,” explained the tweet that was posted, also sharing a link for more information.

The funding for such an expansive and new program has been available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE). A statement released by the health department highlighted, “Our goal is to test many different species of animals including wildlife (deer, bats, raccoons), pets (dogs, cats, hamsters, pocket pets), marine mammals (seals), and more.”

Various pets are allowed to take part in the free pet COVID testing so long as they were “exposed to either a human or another animal with COVID-19 (for example your dog lives in a household of people recently diagnosed with COVID-19).” a pet just may also meet the requirements if they show “symptoms of COVID-19 and was exposed to either a human or another animal with COVID-19 (for example, you are sick with COVID-19 and your pet becomes sick).”

As of the 18th of August, a total of 177 tests had been carried out in Los Angeles County. As of writing, there have been reported zero positive cases.

The announcement takes place as the total daily number of positive cases out of Los Angeles County climbed up to 4,274, with another 13 deaths. A total of 940 people throughout the county were sent to the hospital with the virus.

It seems as though it is the Omicron variant that holds responsibility for the recent uptick in cases, as reported by a new release from the health department.

“The Omicron variant continues to account for 100% of sequenced specimens and the BA.5 subvariant of Omicron remains the most predominant subvariant,” stated the recent release. “In the week ending July 30, 88% of all sequenced specimens in LA County were BA.5. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that, across the country, as of the week ending August 13, the BA.5 subvariant accounted for 89% of specimens.”

Over the course of the past week, the number of positive cases has dropped from 10.7% to 10.1%, as reported by the department. A recent report claimed that 77% of the adult population in the country has received their vaccinations, along with roughly 35% of kids between ages 5-11.

The CDC stated that the risk of pets or other animals causing the further spread of COVID is very low, but the virus can spread from people to animals fairly well via close contact. People showing symptoms of COVID are recommended to avoid contact with animals such as livestock and wildlife.

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