New CDC testing guidelines say people without COVID-19 symptoms don’t need testing

VIDEO: CDC changes guidelines on coronavirus testing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its coronavirus testing guidelines, saying people who have no symptoms of the virus do not need testing, even if they have been exposed to the virus recently, the New York Times reported.

Experts question the change, calling it potentially dangerous because models suggest about half of transmission events can be traced back to people before they had symptoms, and some never felt sick at all.

The relaxed approach to testing could speed the spread of COVID-19 in the community and slow down treatments, experts say.

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The CDC’s newest testing guidelines posted Monday says people who have been in close contact with an infected person “do not necessarily need a test” if they have no symptoms.

Exceptions may be made for “vulnerable” people or if health care providers or local officials recommend testing.

According to the Times:

“Although researchers remain unsure how often asymptomatic people unwittingly transmit the coronavirus, studies have shown that the silently infected can carry the virus in high amounts. The evidence is more clear-cut for pre-symptomatic people, in whom virus levels tend to peak just before illness sets in — a period when these individuals might be mingling with their peers, seeding superspreader events. Notably, experts can’t distinguish asymptomatic people from those who are pre-symptomatic until symptoms do or don’t appear.”

Read the full story at this link.