CDC revises guideline twice in one week on testing for people with no COVID-19 symptoms

'Everyone who needs a COVID-19 test, can get a test' – CDC Director Robert Redfield

Updated: August 28, 2020 - 7:58am

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is clarifying guidelines released earlier this week on coronavirus testing, saying people who come in close contact with a probable or confirmed COVID-19 patient can get tested, even if they don’t show symptoms.

“Everyone who needs a COVID-19 test, can get a test,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said Thursday. “Everyone who wants a test does not necessarily need a test; the key is to engage the needed public health community in the decision with the appropriate follow-up action.”

The federal agency on Monday caused confusion when it said people with no symptoms “do not necessarily need a test,” even if they were exposed to an infected person.

The statement still appears a step short of earlier guidance in which the CDC recommended people who think they came in contact with a COVID-19-positive person get tested to stop the spread of the virus by asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic people.