U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Emerging Infectious Diseases • www.cdc.gov/eid • Vol. 27, No. 3, March 2021



U.S. gov't work


In August 2020, outbreaks of coronavirus disease were confirmed on mink farms in Utah, USA. We surveyed mammals captured on and around farms for evidence of infection or exposure. Free-ranging mink, presumed domestic escapees, exhibited high antibody titers, suggesting a potential severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 transmission pathway to native wildlife.

We report a wildlife epidemiologic investigation of mammals captured on or near properties in Utah, USA, where outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection occurred in farmed mink. Mink farms are relatively common in the United States, and most are small family farms. The US Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (Ames, IA, USA) confirmed SARS-CoV-2 in mink at 2 Utah farms on August 17, 2020, after an investigation by the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (1). SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks have subsequently been confirmed at multiple farms in Utah, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Oregon. Although epidemiologic investigations are ongoing, infected workers are the probable source of the virus’s introduction (2).