The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course again Friday, now recommending that people get tested if they come into contact with someone who has coronavirus, even if they are asymptomatic.
“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 CDC’s updated guidance says.
Close contact means coming “within 6 feet of a person with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection for at least 15 minutes.” The CDC also recommends that even if you test negative, you should still self-isolate for two weeks because a “single negative test does not mean you will remain negative at any time point after that test.”
This is the second time that the CDC has reversed course on their testing policy.
On August 26th, the agency ignited a controversy when it changed its guidance to say that asymptomatic individuals do not need to be tested, even if they came into close contact with someone who has coronavirus.
The reversal Friday moves the CDC back in line with its original guidance.
The CDC says it bases its guidance and recommendations on “what is currently known about COVID-19 and are subject to change as additional information becomes available.”
Some lawmakers speculated that political appointees within the Trump administration pushed the first change in policy for political reasons. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the decision was about politics, not science.
The New York Times reported Thursday that the first change in policy was made by officials at the Department of Health and Human Services, not scientists at the CDC.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.