New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that seem to advocate for less coronavirus testing are probably the wrong move, an infectious diseases expert said Wednesday.
Testing is a cornerstone of controlling outbreaks of any infectious disease, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, chief of the Infectious Diseases Division at Massachusetts General Hospital, said on CNN Newsroom.
"I think we need to fully understand one of the best interventions we have against Covid-19 right now, in addition to masking and distancing, is testing, is the triad, is the things that we need to do. So, anything that advocates for less testing rather than more is probably the wrong move," Walensky said.
"I want to say where the CDC guidance really falls short is that they speak about antibody testing, speak about diagnostic testing and still seven months in, we don't have any guidance on surveillance testing," Walensky added. "When we have so much asymptomatic disease out there propagating new infections, we need to do surveillance testing."
Some more context: The CDC revisions suggest most people who do not have symptoms do not need to be tested, even after exposure to someone with the virus.
What is important, Walensky said, is the timing of testing.
"I think that the CDC guidelines, I question them, and would say that after exposure you do need a test," Walensky said. "I do advocate for calling your physician, calling a public health authority, to say when is the best time for me to get the test after I've been exposed."