CDC Chief Walks Back New Testing Guidelines
Earlier this week, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a bombshell change to their testing recommendations. After previously maintaining that anyone exposed to the virus should be promptly tested, they revealed new guidelines on Monday, maintaining that close contacts of Covid-19 patients "do not necessarily need a test" unless recommended by a healthcare professional.
Health experts—including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading coronavirus expert—were startled by the major edit, expressing concern that it could be open to misinterpretation. Feeling the heat, CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield walked back on their recommendation on Wednesday, now saying that "testing may be considered for all close contacts of confirmed or probable Covid-19 patients."
Dr. Redfield released a statement to multiple news outlets on Wednesday night in hopes of clarifying the new policy. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
"Everyone Who Needs a Covid-19 Test, Can Get a Test."
"Testing is meant to drive actions and achieve specific public health objectives," Dr. Redfield wrote. "Everyone who needs a Covid-19 test, can get a test. Everyone who wants a test does not necessarily need a test; the key is to engage the needed public health community in the decision with the appropriate follow-up action."
According to Dr. Redfield's statement, the agency is "placing an emphasis on testing individuals with symptomatic illness, individuals with a significant exposure, vulnerable populations including nursing homes or long term care facilities, critical infrastructure workers, healthcare workers and first responders, or those individuals who may be asymptomatic when prioritized by medical and public health officials."
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The CDC Guidelines are Still Not Changed Online
As of Thursday morning, the guidelines remained unchanged on the CDC website, and it is unknown if the agency plans on changing them.
"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," it currently read.
In a Wednesday interview with CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Fauci revealed he had nothing to do with the changed guidelines, expressing concern about the possible public health repercussions.
"I was under general anesthesia in the operating room and was not part of any discussion or deliberation regarding the new testing recommendations" at that meeting, he revealed.
"I am concerned about the interpretation of these recommendations and worried it will give people the incorrect assumption that asymptomatic spread is not of great concern. In fact it is," he concluded. Use your best judgment when considering a test, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 37 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.