'remarkable and troubling'
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says that not everyone exposed to COVID-19 necessarily needs to receive a test — but experts are pushing back.
The CDC has updated its guidance to say that those who are within close contact of someone with COVID-19 but don't have symptoms don't "necessarily need a test" unless they're in a vulnerable group or their health-care provider or state or local officials recommend they receive one. This is different than the old guidance, which said that "testing is recommended for all close contacts of persons with" COVID-19, CNN reports.
The change quickly sparked concern from experts. University of Washington biology professor Dr. Carl Bergstrom called the new recommendations "remarkable and troubling," writing, "The whole point of contact tracing is to find asymptomatic contacts of known cases and isolate them."
Dr. Leana Wen of George Washington University also told CNN these "are exactly the people who should be tested," adding, "I'm concerned that these recommendations suggest someone who has had substantial exposure to a person with COVID-19 now doesn't need to get tested." Wen also tweeted that "this makes no sense" considering "people without symptoms account for up to 50 percent of transmission" and "we need more testing, not less."
A Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson told CNN the guidance "fully supports public health surveillance testing, done in a proactive way through federal, state, and local public health officials."