‘This change in policy will kill’: Experts troubled by CDC changes to COVID-19 testing guidelines

  • USA Today | by: Adrianna Rodriguez |
  • 08/26/2020 12:00 AM
‘This change in policy will kill’: Experts troubled by CDC changes to COVID-19 testing guidelines
Photo Credit: Tami Chappell/Reuters

The CDC estimates in its COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios that 40% of infections are asymptomatic and 50% of transmissions occur before symptoms appear. Experts worry that failing to test asymptomatic carriers could not only result in more infections but also hinder contact tracing efforts.

“If being in close personal contact with an infected person … isn’t sufficiently important enough to get tested, I don’t see that there’s any value in contact tracing,” said Peter Pitts, president of the nonprofit Center for Medicine in the Public Interest.

A spokesperson at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told CNN the change wouldn’t “undermine contact tracing or any other types of surveillance testing.”

Though Pitts said the change in CDC guidelines “is not permission to do away with testing,” he’s worried that some may take it that way. He said the agency should  encourage more testing.

 
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