CDC reverses testing guidelines for people without COVID-19 symptoms

September 21, 2020  –  The CDC on Friday reversed a controversial recommendation suggesting people who have had close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus do not need to get tested if they have no symptoms.

The previous phrasing, which suggested asymptomatic people who have had close contact with an infected individual “do not necessarily need a test,” now clearly instructs them: “You need a test.”

The reversal follows widespread criticism of the earlier guideline, as well as reports that the recommendation came from political appointees in the Trump administration and skipped the agency’s usual rigorous scientific review.

Several studies have shown that people can efficiently spread the virus even if they don’t have symptoms. Some research has suggested that they are actually most likely to transmit to others starting around a day before the onset of symptoms, when the viral load can be the highest, the New York Times reports…

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