CDC changes guidance - again - on who should get tested for COVID-19

CDC changes guidance - again - on who should get tested for COVID-19
COVID-19 testing file image (Source: Gray Television)

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The Centers for Disease Control have changed their guidelines on who should get tested - again. This time, its scientists have reverted back to their last stance where anyone who has symptoms or has been in contact with an infected person should get tested for COVID-19.

Everyone gets tested - that’s the latest guidance from the CDC. However, it’s yet another change, in just a few weeks, from the nation’s top health experts. Doctors say this has been making the message confusing for residents and companies across the United States.

“All of this conflicting information and questions of political motivation are really hampering the effort to take control of this virus and get back to our normal way of living,” Dr. Roshini Raj, an Associate Professor of Medicine at NYU Langone Health, said.

Last month, the CDC said states should focus on testing those with coronavirus symptoms only, and all those who might be asymptomatic after they were exposed to someone with coronavirus, should just quarantine at home for 14 days. However, health experts say they’ve recently seen a problem with that idea.

“As societies have opened up, we are seeing outbreaks in younger populations,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, the Coronavirus Technical Lead for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme.

Thankfully, that hasn’t been the case on the Suncoast, but school leaders say they are hoping to keep it that way, and that this new guidance can help that.

“Right now for our students, if you had a known exposure, we’re sending people home to quarantine for 14 days, and if they are asymptomatic, they come back, but that doesn’t mean they are not contagious,” explained Dr. Scott Hopes, epidemiologist and Manatee County School Board member.

Dr. Hopes says the Manatee County School District is now looking at its own protocols to see if they add mandatory testing for all those students who are sent home to quarantine after an exposure – before they reach that 14 day mark.

“And get those results back within a day or so because if they are positive, then they need to continue that quarantine and not come back to school,” Dr. Hopes tells us.

Dr. Hopes says this new protocol will most likely begin at the start of the second quarter of the school year – which is on October 9th.

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