SALEM, Ore.-- The Oregon Department of Agriculture says recent mink that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 at a farm in late November are now clear of the virus.
ODA conducted two rounds of follow up tests that showed barely detectable levels of the virus in only one of the 62 animals tested.
Since Dec. 7, biologists have captured and tested nine animals, including five wild opossums, three cats, and one mink believed to have escaped the quarantined facility.
On Dec. 22, the confirmed trapped mink tested positive for low levels of SARS-CoV-2. Based on the location of capture and condition of the animal, USDA Wildlife Services and ODFW believe the captured mink had very recently escaped confinement. ODA has requested continued surveillance, trapping, and testing as a precaution.
“There is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is circulating or has been established in the wild,” said Dr. Ryan Scholz, ODA state veterinarian. “Several animals from different species were sampled, and all others were negative. Still, we are taking this situation very seriously and continuing to survey and trap near the farm. Also, we have asked USDA to run additional tests on the trapped mink, including sequencing the viral genome and a DNA test to ensure we know exactly where this mink came from.”