CDC updates COVID testing guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control on Friday issued new guidance for COVID-19 testing, now recommending that those in “close contact” with a person who has been infected need to be tested for the illness.

The new recommendation supersedes the agency’s earlier stance that those exposed but “not showing symptoms” did not necessarily need to be tested.

“Close contact” is defined as being within six feet of a person for 15 minutes or longer.

“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 new guidance said. “Because of the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, it is important that contacts of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection be quickly identified and tested.”

Those who are tested following close contact are also advised to self-isolate while awaiting results, to stay home and to stay apart from those in their household to the greatest extent possible.

The new guidelines also said that people who don’t have symptoms and who have not been exposed to an infected person do not need a test unless recommended or required by your healthcare provider or public health official.