The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reversing course on guidelines for testing asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus.
“Due to the significance of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, this guidance further reinforces the need to test asymptomatic persons, including close contacts of a person with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the agency said.
It added, “If you have been in close contact, such as within 6 feet of a person with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection for at least 15 minutes and do not have symptoms. You need a test. Please consult with your healthcare provider or public health official. Testing is recommended for all close contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
The revised guidelines come less than a month after the CDC suggested asymptomatic carriers do not need to be tested, as IJR previously reported.
The agency originally indicated they do not need to be tested “unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider or State or local public health officials recommend you take one.”
Adm. Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Service, released a statement defending the agency’s original guidelines.
“This Guidance has been updated to reflect current evidence and best public health practices, and to further emphasize using CDC-approved prevention strategies to protect yourself, your family, and the most vulnerable of all ages,” Giroir said.
The number of coronavirus cases remain persistently high across the nation.
As of Friday afternoon, more than 6,709,600 Americans have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 197,700 have died.
There have been an average of 40,111 cases per day over the past week, which is a 1% decrease from the average two weeks prior.
On Thursday, the United States reported at least 849 new coronavirus related deaths and a total of 45,434 new cases.