New CDC SARS-COV2 Animal Testing Guidelines for Veterinarians

Guidelines from the CDC for testing animals for SARS-COV2 have been released, and include specific information addressing shelters and other group-housed populations of animals.

Here are the highlights

  • Routine testing of animals for SARS-COV2 is not recommended.
  • The decision to test an animal must be agreed upon by local, state, and/or federal public health and animal health officials.
  • Priority animals include those of high risk of exposure AND demonstrating significant clinical signs not attributed to other causes.
  • For animals in a group setting such as a shelter, testing is advised when a cluster of animals shows clinical signs of concern*.
  • If testing is performed, the USDA has FAQs around sample collection, transport, storage, and result reporting. Additionally, samples should be collected in duplicate so positives can be confirmed through the NVSL.

The document in its entirety can be viewed and downloaded below.

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* If you are a shelter experiencing an outbreak or unusual presentation of respiratory disease in your population, please reach out to us at  Our program faculty are happy to provide expert advice on diagnosis and management, and due to the generous support of Maddie’s Shelter Lab we are able to provide subsidized or no-cost testing through the AHDC.


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