CDC Changes COVID-19 Testing Guidelines

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The new guidelines claim people exposed to the coronavirus may not need to be tested.

There has been a recent change in the health and safety guidelines regarding coronavirus, and it has left some doctors perplexed. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its COVID-19 testing guidelines to say some people without symptoms may not need to be tested. This even applies to people who have been in close contact with someone known to have the virus.

Previously, the CDC said viral testing was apt for people with recent or suspected exposure, even if they did not show any signs of symptoms.

“Testing is recommended for all close contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection,” according to the CDC’s prior statement. “Because of the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, it is important that contacts of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection be quickly identified and tested.”

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The sudden change in COVID-19 testing guidance is believed to have been a result of pressure coming from the Trump administration. On the CDC’s website, it now says, “If you have been in close contact (within 6 feet) of a person with a COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes but do not have symptoms, you do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider or State or local public health officials recommend you take one.”

Some doctors, like Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University and Baltimore’s previous health commissioner, said that those who have been exposed should still be tested.

Others expressed their curiosity as to why the CDC did not explain why it made the update.

For those that still choose to get tested and are pending results, the CDC recommends self-quarantining/isolating at home. People should also follow the advice of their health care providers or public health professional.

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