CDC overturns guidelines that people without symptoms may not need testing

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed controversial coronavirus testing guidelines on Friday that people exposed to an infected person but showing no symptoms “did not necessarily need a test.”The new guidelines say people without symptoms who have been in close contact with an infected person “need a test.”

“Please consult your health care provider or public health official. Screening is recommended for all close contacts of people with SARS-CoV-2 infection, ”says the new guide. “Because of the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, it is important that contacts of people with SARS-CoV-2 infection are promptly identified and tested. ”

Numerous studies have shown that people can carry and spread the virus without showing symptoms – both at the presymptomatic stage and in cases where there are never any symptoms. Public health specialists and officials at the World Health Organization have repeatedly stressed the importance of testing people who do not have symptoms in order to cut the chains of transmission.

Many public health experts have criticized the CDC’s change in testing guidelines in August for appearing to downplay the importance of screening people who do not have symptoms but who could spread the virus.

The CDC called the change in focus a “clarification” and noted the “need to test asymptomatic people.”

Representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services, to which the CDC reports, did not immediately return CNBC’s request for comment.

CDC director Dr Robert Redfield told lawmakers earlier this week that the agency plans to update the guidelines this week.

“While waiting for the test results, you should self-quarantine / isolate yourself at home and stay separate from household members as much as possible and use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available,” says the new guide.

The updated guidelines also state that people who are symptom-free and have not been exposed to an infected person “do not need testing unless recommended or required by your provider. health care provider or public health official. The previous guidelines definitely stated that these people did not need to be tested.

This is the latest news. Please come back for updates.

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