Wednesday, August 26, 2020
CDC now says people without COVID-19 symptoms do not need testing
By Katherine J. Wu, The New York Times
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly modified its coronavirus testing guidelines this week to exclude people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 — even if they have been recently exposed to the virus.
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 pre-symptomatic stage, before they start to feel ill — if they ever feel sick at all.
“This is potentially dangerous,” said Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious disease physician in Palo Alto, California. Restricting testing to only people with obvious symptoms of COVID-19 means “you’re not looking for a lot of people who are potential spreaders of disease,” she added. “I feel like this is going to make things worse.” Read more >>