On August 24, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shared some new guidance with the country that has sparked controversy, suggesting that people who were exposed to COVID-19 but weren’t showing any symptoms didn’t need to get tested for the virus. However, after weeks of criticism the CDC announced on Friday they were officially reversing their recommendation. Read on, and to protect your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
“You Need a Test”
Previously the recommendation states that people who have had close contact with an infected individual “do not necessarily need a test.” However, on Friday they released a statement revealing they were backtracking on it, replacing the phrase with “You need a test.”
“Due to the significance of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, this guidance further reinforces the need to test asymptomatic persons, including close contacts of a person with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection,” reads the September 18 update.
The update comes just a day after The New York Times reported that the recommendation came from Trump administration political appointees, skipping the agency’s traditional rigorous scientific review and the fact that several scientists objected to it.
On Friday, Dr. Thomas File, the president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America president, said in a statement that “the return to a science-based approach to testing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is good news for public health.”
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It’s a “Step in the Right Direction”
Alison Galvani, director for the Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis at Yale School of Medicine, who previously declared on Twitter that “This change in policy will kill,” noted that the policy update was “a step in the right direction.”
“In order to control the pandemic, it is imperative that contact tracing is conducted and that exposed individuals be tested irrespective of symptoms. The goal should be that this process is implemented fast enough that cases are identified before they become symptomatic,” she said. “People are highly infectious during the presymptomatic phase and catching people during that phase is key to interrupting transmission.”
Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, expressed concern. A spokesperson from the Fauci’s led National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease confirmed that he was in surgery at the time the decision was made and wasn’t involved with it at all. As for yourself: to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.