The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website has updated, yet again, guidelines for testing people who do not have symptoms of coronavirus.
The new language rolls back controversial changes made to the site last month. It once again stresses that anyone who has been in contact with an infected person should be tested for 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,” it says, calling the change a clarification.
“Testing is recommended for all close contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection. 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,” the site now reads.
“Viral tests are recommended to diagnose acute infection of both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, to guide contact tracing, treatment options, and isolation requirements.”
The guidance notes that even if people do not have symptoms, they still need a test if they have been in close contact – such as within 6 feet – of a person with coronavirus infection for at least 15 minutes.
“In areas where there are a small number of new cases and limited spread, your public health department may request a small number of asymptomatic ‘healthy people’ to be tested,” the guidance says. “If there is significant spread of the virus in your community, your public health department may request significant numbers of asymptomatic ‘healthy people’ to be tested in order to help stop the spread of the virus.”