Exposed to Covid? CDC no longer recommends testing if asymptomatic

In an August 24 update to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 Testing Guidance posted on the CDC Website, the lead agency in the US response to COVID-19 has removed the recommendation for viral testing for individuals who have experienced "close exposure" to a confirmed case of COVID-19, as long as the exposed person remains asymptomatic.

Under the CDC Mitigation Protocols headline on the website's "Overview for Testing" page, it is noted that "revisions made on August 24" include "Diagnostic testing categories have been edited to focus on testing considerations and actions to be taken by individuals undergoing testing." The bullet-pointed directives outlined in the testing recommendations now state:

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.

This is an alteration of previous CDC guidelines, which instructed that any individual who has experienced "close contact" should undergo molecular testing to check for the presence of the virus.

Additionally, the guidelines state:

If you are in a high COVID-19 transmission area and have attended a public or private gathering of more than 10 people (without widespread mask wearing or physical distancing):

  • 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.

  • You should strictly adhere to CDC mitigation protocols, especially if you are interacting with a vulnerable individual. You should adhere to CDC guidelines to protect vulnerable individuals with whom you live.

  • If you are tested, you should self-isolate at home until your test results are known, and then adhere to your health care provider’s advice.

Although the actual CDC Mitigation Protocols page of the CDC website documents these Aug. 26 changes to the CDC policy, the "Latest Updates" menu on the website's COVID-19 landing page lists "Aug 26 CDC Statement on Testing Guidance," but the link is a dead link, opening a pop-up that states "We can’t seem to find the page you were looking for. Please try our search or A-Z index."

Additionally, clicking a link entitled "Should you get tested" on the CDC's COVID-19 main page opens a page with a different Web address, also entitled COVID-19 Testing Overview,' which indicates that those who have had close contact with a confirmed case should get tested for the virus, with no exclusion for asymptomatic individuals, as follows:

'Considerations for who should get tested

  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19

  • People who have had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with someone with confirmed COVID-19

  • People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider, local or state ​health department

CONNECTLOCAL has requested information from the Stephens County School System regarding the school system's protocols for testing of students and faculty/staff, and to find out if the changes in the CDC guidelines will alter the school's Decision Guide or processes. We will update this story as soon as information is made available.

VIsit the website to review the full CDC Mitigation Protocols.


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