The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly tweaked its guidance on COVID-19 testing Monday, making a change that could result in fewer people being tested and hinder contact tracing efforts, NBC News reports.
The guidance now states that healthy people who have been exposed to COVID-19 "do not necessarily need a test," as long as they don't have symptoms. That's a reversal from previous advice that clearly recommended testing for all close contacts of infected individuals, regardless of whether they had symptoms.
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"It seems as though this new guidance is actively discouraging people from seeking testing, even if they have a known exposure," Angela Rasmussen, a research scientist at Columbia Public Health in New York City, said. "We need more testing, not less."
President Donald Trump has been outspoken about his belief that the United States has the most COVID-19 cases in the world because of the number of tests it carries out.