Changes to CDC COVID-19 Testing Guidelines Undermine Public Health
A Statement by the National Coalition of STD Directors
August 31, 2020
Frequent and widespread testing is essential to control the spread of COVID-19. NCSD is puzzled and dismayed by CDC’s abrupt revision to its coronavirus testing guidelines suggesting that individuals with recent known exposure to COVID-19 do not need to be tested. Evidence that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic people can transmit the virus is well established, as described in past CDC guidelines, and we call upon CDC to immediately reverse this decision.
Lessons from the STD field are central to an effective national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For decades, our field has employed testing and contact tracing as proven strategies to prevent transmission of infectious diseases.
NCSD stands with our national health advocacy partners calling for CDC to reverse the recent change to its COVID-19 guidance in favor of a robust testing program, coupled with contact tracing to reach people at-risk of infection, and isolation of individuals who test positive for the virus.