Need advice re: sitter with Covid

We’re leaving for 2 weeks on 1/2 and just learned that our sitter tested positive for Covid. She’s feeling fine and wants to sit. We think it would be safe for us because we’ll be gone 2 weeks but we’re worried about the cats getting sick. How would other owners handle this? Any advice?

How long has she been sick (when did she test positive)? I guess if it’s been more than a week and she’s feeling fine, it might be safe enough. But if it’s more recent, I think I’d be worried that she’d start the sit and get sicker and not be able to finish it?

Also, do you know if she’s been vaccinated? If so, she’s much more likely to have a milder case that ends quickly, than if she’s not. That could factor into the decision as well.

Do you have an alternative if you decide to cancel the sitter?

I don’t know enough about the transfer of covid to pets so I won’t comment on that. Maybe someone else knows about the dangers involved, if any.

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I would go ahead as planned. Apparently over 40% of those who test positive for covid show no symptoms at all. If it is the milder Omicron then it is likely to be no more than a cold if that, as contains the common cold virus. From what I have read it is extremely rare to be passed to cats but if wanting to be extra cautious you could ask her to wear a mask when near the cats and wear gloves or use hand sanatiser when putting out food. You could also ask for lateral flo tests for when negative.

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Hi and welcome, Sallemander,

Without knowing more details including where you and the sitter are located, whether the sitter is due to travel by plane/train/bus, and when the sitter received a positive test, it’s hard for me to offer an opinion.

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People who test positive for Covid are expected to quarantine, regardless if they have symptoms as they can still transmit to anyone they come in contact with during the initial 10-14 days. There are many people still unvaccinated either by choice or for other health reasons who could potentially acquire it, get sick or not have any symptoms either and expose even more people.

As far as animals, this is from the CDC.
https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/covid-19/pets.html

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She’s already in Portland (where our place is) and she’s vaccinated but not boosted. She’s had mild symptoms for 5 days and tested positive day 4. I think we’re going to have her come but don’t cuddle or sleep with the cats till day 10 which will be 4 days after we leave. We could get someone else, but I hate to screw up her plans. Does that make sense?

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“vaccinated but not boosted”
Why hasn’t she had the booster? I think we’re overdue in changing the definition of “fully vaccinated” to mean has had booster.

BTW, if she had only the one-shot J&J, that’s close to not being vaccinated at all (a study showed effectiveness against illness to be only 8% after 6 months).

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Depends on where you live. We’ve had a slower roll out of vaccinations and subsequently of boosters here in Canada. I’m 61 and I’m only getting my booster tomorrow.

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Yep, you need to make the best decision that you are happy with. Maybe have a back up plan just in case she gets sicker than expected, which I assume will be unlikely since she’s vaccinated. Have a good trip!

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Yup. Considering the context–Portland–she’s had opportunity.

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Hi @Sallemander welcome to our community forum, thank you for joining and asking for advice.

I see that you have received feedback from a number of members and there are articles on the website blog to help members manage sits in the safest way possible during this COVID related climate, you can find them here

You should weigh up the situation and make the decision which you are the most comfortable with meanwhile keeping communication open with your sitter and always have a plan B.

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I am curious to see how this ‘fully vaccinated’ thing will play out as studies from the UK have shown the protection of the third dose of Pfizer drops dramatically after a mere 10 weeks, with countries like Israel already pushing 4th doses on certain populations. Doesn’t look like this third shot will be the ‘durable’ protection they were hoping for. I don’t think there will ever be such thing as ‘fully vaccinated’ actually and they need to start communicating that to the public more transparently. I imagine that many people who were happy to do their duty and get their first two to gain that ‘preferred status’ may not be so enthusiastic to keep getting them every few months, especially when the first two doses still seem to protect against serious illness, which is what they were designed to do in the first place, and this isn’t such an unreasonable position in my opinion.

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“Long covid” is what I’m particularly keen to avoid. If that means getting a booster every 10 weeks, so be it.

Aside from that, I do not want to lose all of my limited paid-time-off to a week-long illness. I know quite a few people with 2x Moderna or Pfizer who are sick right now. My aunt died of a breakthrough case, infected by anti-vax/anti-mask family members (one of whom, a 40something, was hospitalized at the same time, and is on O2 3+ months later).

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We researched this once: cats don’t get seriously ill and there is minimal evidence of transmission between humans and cats (both ways). That both of those things should happen is extremely unlikely. We would not be worried at all, but it’s your call.

Am I missing something here?
Why would cats become sick from Covid?
At the very start of the pandemic in 2020 some daft people came forward with daft ideas that C19 was spread by domestic animals.
This was quickly debunked. There is no connection between cats and dogs and Covid!!!
It’s like these people in the supermarkets in the UK who insist on wearing gloves when shopping- has no one told them that the gloves will spread germs?!

Unfortunately, it’s neither absurd nor “daft.”

A zoo’s three ‘beloved’ snow leopards die of covid-19

Cornell Univ Vet:
Frequently Asked Questions COVID-19 and Feline Health (bottom line–cat to human transmission is unlikely; human to house cat transmission has resulted in mild infections:

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Seems like most people where I live are clamouring for their booster.

In BC, we stretched out the gap between first and second doses to 8+ weeks, and same for the booster (6 mos) and they are finding the effect is lasting longer. Some people really questioned it at the time, but research is showing it’s longer lasting than places like Israel where people for their shots closer together.

That being said, I’ll be happy to get a yearly (or twice a year?) booster if that’s what’s needed.

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I remember hearing about an outbreak at a mink farm as well, and I think dogs can also get it?

Found some info on what to do when you have pets and you contact COVID.

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So three big cats’ deaths compared to (in the UK alone) 150,000 human deaths.
This scare-mongering makes me want to delete my details from this forum.

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Not sure it’s scare mongering. I think it’s just something to be aware of if you have pets, or if you have a sitter who has COVID.

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