Coronavirus Questions Answered: Should I Wear A Mask While Catsitting?

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Kathy asks: “I’m watching my neighbor’s house and cat all this week while they’re away. Do I need to wear a mask?”

Dr. Claudia Hoyen, an infectious disease specialist at University Hospitals said, wearing a mask is a good idea to prevent Kathy from spreading the coronavirus to others, if she has it.

Since the house is unoccupied, and the virus is mainly spread through in-person respiratory droplets, Kathy is likely safe from catching it inside the house.

But as far as Kathy catching the coronavirus from the cat, Dr. Hoyen said it’s unlikely, but there is still a lot we don’t know about the COVID-19.

“I have not heard of any transmission from pets to people,” Hoyen said. “We do think this may have started in animals, so it could theoretically be possible that if these people had recently had COVID, theoretically the cat might be involved.”

But Hoyen emphasized that it’s unlikely, as is catching it from being in a house with no people.

Kathy should wash her hands frequently and avoid touching her eyes, nose, or mouth. These are important steps to make sure Kathy stays safe while housesitting, Hoyen said.

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