A mink farm in Oregon is under strict quarantine after a coronavirus outbreak was reported among mink and farmworkers.
According to the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), after ten mink samples the farm sent out all came back positive for COVID-19, animals and animal products have been prohibited from leaving the farm.
The staff has been encouraged to self-isolate since there have also been numerous cases reported amongst them.
Dr. Emilio DeBess, an ODA public health veterinarian, has been assigned to work with staff directly. Ensuring they all have “personal protective equipment and the supplies needed to follow coronavirus guidance.”
“Worker safety is critical to protect people and animals on mink farms,” she said. “Our best weapon against the virus right now is education. We are providing testing, specific workplace guidance and support, and supplying additional PPE to the farmer, the employees, and their families to help reduce further spread of the virus.”
So far, no mink mortalities have been reported, but ODA veterinarian Dr. Ryan Scholz informed the public in a news release that this could change as the virus progressed.
The rising number of COVID-19 outbreaks on mink farms is not new and seems to only be rising.
“We have been engaged with the Oregon mink industry for some time, providing information on biosecurity to prevent the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 and were ready to respond,” Scholz said.
According to CNN, thousands of mink reportedly have had coronavirus in seven different countries and three US states. Thousands of mink also died because of the virus.
It is unclear whether or not animals can transmit the virus to humans.