Pet groomers take preventive measure against the coronavirus while working on the dogs. Photo: Lam Yik/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Pet owners are urged to adopt "good hygiene practices" like avoiding kissing animals after a dog was found to have a "low-level of infection" of the novel coronavirus, Hong Kong authorities said in a statement Wednesday.

Why it matters: This would appear to be the first case of a likely human-to-animal transmission, per a spokesman for the city's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. But he stressed there's "no evidence that pet animals can be a source of infection of COVID-19 or that they become sick."

The big picture: The dog returned a "weak positive" reading in its nasal and oral cavities for COVID-19 after repeated tests conducted over several days, the Hong Kong spokesman said. "The dog has not shown any signs of disease related to COVID-19," he said.

  • The animal has been placed into quarantine with another dog, which tested negative to the virus that's infected over 95,000 people worldwide, per the statement. The infected dog won't be released until it returns a negative reading and the other animal must clear one more test before it can go home.

What they're saying: A CDC statement notes it's "not received any reports" of animals becoming sick with the virus and there's currently "no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19."

  • The World Organization for Animal Health also points out there are no examples of animals transmitting the virus to humans. But it adds, "[B]ecause animals and people can sometimes share diseases ... it is still recommended that people who are sick with COVID-19 limit contact with companion and other animals until more information is known about the virus."

Go deeper: Your best defense against coronavirus

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Updated 9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin:

Trump prepares to announce Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court replacement

Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Matt Cashore/Notre Dame University via Reuters

President Trump is preparing to nominate federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, a favorite of both the social conservative base and Republican elected officials, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republican sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Barrett would push the already conservative court further and harder to the right, for decades to come, on the most important issues in American politics — from abortion to the limits of presidential power. If confirmed, she would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court.