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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The CDC has confirmed that two pet cats living in separate New York state homes have tested positive for the coronavirus, the USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratory said Wednesday.

Why it matters: These are the first pets in the U.S. to test positive for COVID-19, the agency said. The cats experienced a mild respiratory illness from the virus and are expected to recover.

  • The first cat, which was tested after showing mild respiratory issues, was not living in a home with confirmed coronavirus patients.
  • The owner of the second cat tested positive for COVID-19, but another cat in that household hasn't shown symptoms.

What you can do: If you have contracted the coronavirus, limit contact with your pets and wash your hands before and after you touch them. If possible, have someone else care for your pets.

The bottom line: There is still no evidence that pets can spread the coronavirus in the U.S., the agency said in a statement, and routine testing of animals is not recommended.

Go deeper ... Coronavirus Q&A: Pets, moving and personal health

Go deeper

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Louisiana officials find "probable" Omicron case in cruise ship COVID outbreak — CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: NYC to impose vaccine mandate on private employers — Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy.
  4. World: U.S. announces $400M for global COVID vaccine distribution — Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated Jul 31, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus testing still can't keep up with demand

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Testing is once again becoming a critical weakness in the America's response to the coronavirus pandemic, and experts say we may need to revive tighter standards about who can get a test.

Why it matters: Although testing has gotten a lot better over the course of the pandemic, the pandemic has gotten worse, and that means the U.S. needs to prioritize its resources — which might mean that frequent testing solely to help open businesses or schools just isn't feasible.

Jul 31, 2020 - Economy & Business

Health care industry tops list of most-favored amid coronavirus

Data: Harris Poll COVID19 Tracker Wave 20; Chart: Axios Visuals

Doctors, nurses and hospitals have experienced a greater increase in consumer trust and confidence than any other industry during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new Axios/Harris poll.