CDC Changes COVID-19 Testing Guidelines, Experts Raise Concern

corona-5174671_1920 - pixabay - 7.21.20New CDC guidelines narrow the scope of people who should get tested for COVID-19 concerning public health experts. 

Under the revised Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 testing guidelines people who have been exposed to the virus but are symptomless are not required to get tested. Experts have raised concerns that under these changes people who are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic would continue to spread the disease and delay treatment.

The New York Times reports:

The newest version, which was posted on Monday, amended the agency’s guidance to say that people who have been in close contact with an infected individual — typically defined as being within six feet of a person with the coronavirus and for at least 15 minutes — “do not necessarily need a test” if they do not have symptoms. Exceptions, the agency noted, might be made for “vulnerable” individuals, or if health care providers or state or local public health officials recommend testing.

Experts questioned the revision, pointing to the importance of identifying infections in the small window immediately before the onset of symptoms, when many individuals appear to be most contagious.

Models suggest that about half of transmission events can be traced back to individuals still in this so-called pre-symptomatic stage, before they start to feel ill — if they ever feel sick at all.

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