Iditarod officials contact tracing after positive virus test

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) A musher taken out of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race after testing positive for COVID-19 at a checkpoint is believed to have been exposed by a person who had been in his quarantine bubble before the race started, a doctor working on the race said Thursday.

Dr. Jodie Guest, an epidemiologist working on the race, told reporters musher Gunnar Johnson and all other mushers tested negative on March 4 and all were also tested on Sunday, before the race start. On March 5, Johnson was in a vehicle with a person “who was part of two people in his bubble that he was quarantining with prior to the race, between his 14-day-before-the-race and his three-day-before-the-race test,” she said.

The person was exposed outside the bubble with Johnson and tested positive on March 6, she said. Johnson tested negative on Sunday, when he began the race, Guest said. It wasn’t immediately clear if officials were aware of the March 6 test result when the race started. A message seeking comment was sent to the race’s media contact.

Guest said contact tracing related to Johnson’s positive test was underway, including trying to determine the identity of two mushers who had shared a tent with him. Those unfamiliar with the race may not understand why that’s a challenge, she said. But people who are bundled up “crawl in and out” during the night and there usually isn’t much talking, she said.

Guest said the risk to others who have been on the trail “is probably at a maximum of three people.” Johnson, who tested positive outside the McGrath checkpoint on Wednesday, had not been inside any building since he left for the start of the race on Sunday, she said.

Johnson is from Duluth, Minnesota. Race officials Wednesday said he was asymptomatic. Guest said Thursday he was flown on a race plane back to Anchorage with a person who was considered fully vaccinated.

Tests on volunteers and community members who worked at a checkpoint at Nikolai returned negative, and an extra test was being added for mushers at McGrath as they head toward the finish, Guest said.

This year’s race route, modified because of the pandemic, is a loop that starts near Willow, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Anchorage, goes to the ghost town of Iditarod and then back to Willow for the finish. Johnson’s test at McGrath on Wednesday came as he was heading toward the turnaround point.

In an effort to guard against spreading the virus, mushers are going through most rural Alaska villages that serve as checkpoints and resting instead in tent camps outside towns.

French Bulldog wins Best in Show at 2022 National Dog Show


The French Bulldog has won Best in Show at the 2022 National Dog Show.

Winston the French Bulldog beat out around 1,500 of dogs representing 212 breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club. First, he claimed victory in the Non-Sporting Group in a field of 20 breeds. He then took on the other six group winners before taking home the top honor. The English Toy Spaniel, winner of the Toy Group, was named Reserve Best in Show.

Hear from Claire’s handler Perry Payson about the victory:

The German Shepherd Dog won the Herding Group; the Irish Water Dog won the Sporting Group; the American Staffordshire Terrier won the Terrier Group; the Tree Walking Coonhound won the Hound Group; and the Alaskan Malamute won the Working Group.

This year, three breeds made their National Dog Show debut. The Russian Toy joined the Toy Group. The breed has a curly coat that can be black, gray, brown, or fawn in color, sometimes with white markings. The Mudi, which falls under the Herding Group, was originally a Hungarian farm dog. The breed is agile, intelligent and courageous, making it perfect to work with livestock. The Bracco Italiano, also known as the Italian Pointing Dog, joined the Sporting Group. The breed is known for its adaptability in hunting and its intelligence.

Related: Full list of breeds at 2022 National Dog Show

NBC televised the 2022 National Dog Show directly after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the 21st straight year. Every year, more than 20 million people tune in for the event, which was commentated by longtime hosts John O’Hurley and David Frei. Mary Carillo also returned for more commentary, analysis and behind-the-scenes looks at one of the oldest dog shows in the world.

How to watch National Dog Show 2022 on Thanksgiving: Start time, TV channel, live stream, date


The National Dog Show is one of the most well-known dog shows in the world. Hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, the show was founded in 1879 and has been held annually since 1933. The NDS is sanctioned by the American Kennel Club, and only purebred dogs registered with the AKC can compete. The AKC recognizes 212 dog breeds and varieties, split into seven different groups. Click here to see who won the 2021 National Dog Show, watch video, highlights and more.

Related: What to know about the 2022 National Dog Show

NBC has televised the event after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since 2002. John O’Hurley and David Frei will reprise their roles as hosts, having co-hosted together since the National Dog Show first aired. Mary Carillo will also be back for more commentary, analysis and behind-the-scenes looks at one of the oldest dog shows in the world.

This year, three breeds are making their National Dog Show debut.

Related: Full list of National Dog Show breeds

How can I watch the dog show on Thanksgiving Day?

Watch the 2022 National Dog Show on NBC directly after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Coverage of the National Dog Show begins on Thursday, November 24 at 12 p.m. local time and runs until 2 p.m., covering group and Best in Show judging.

The National Dog Show can also be streamed here on Peacock, and on the NBC Sports app at 12 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving. The NBC Sports app is available on mobile and connected devices, including Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.

Can I re-watch the National Dog Show from past years?

Select previous Dog Shows are available to watch On Demand on Peacock, and if you miss Thursday’s airing of the 2022 Dog Show, it will also be available after Thanksgiving on the streaming platform. Highlights from previous National Dog Shows, including Best in Show judging from 2021 and more, is also available on the NBC Sports YouTube channel.

Watch NBC’s coverage of the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving day, November 24, directly after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from 12-2 p.m. local time on NBC, and the NBC Sports app.

Thanksgiving Day schedule on NBC and Peacock

The 2022 National Dog Show comes in the middle of a fun-filled Thanksgiving Thursday, and is just part of the Big Event weekend across NBC and Peacock. See below for the full schedule of some traditional favorites, as well as new and exciting highlights to keep you entertained the whole holiday weekend:

Thursday at 9am ET: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC and Peacock

Thursday at 12pm ET: The National Dog Show on NBC and Peacock

Thursday at 8pm ET: Sunday Night Football NFL Thanksgiving Special – Patriots vs Vikings

Friday at 1:30pm ET: Copa Mundial – England vs USA en Español on Telemundo and Peacock

Saturday at 7pm ET: WWE Survivor Series War Games on Peacock

Sunday at 7pm ET: Sunday Night Football – Packers vs Eagles on NBC and Peacock