AL state health officer reacts to CDC updated COVID-19 testing guidelines

CDC changes testing guidelines

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The newly updated testing guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention narrows the list of people who are recommended to get tested.

Previous CDC testing guidance said anyone who had close contact with someone with coronavirus should get tested, whether they have symptoms or not.

That’s been updated to symptoms needing to be present before getting tested, even if they’ve come into close contact with an infected person.

Surge testing sites opened in Jefferson County in late August due to the White House Coronavirus Task Force designating the area a “hot spot”.

However, the revised CDC guidelines recommend even in “high transmission” areas and you’ve been in crowds of 10 or more, unless you’re high risk, you don’t necessarily need to be tested.

WBRC asked state health officer, Dr. Scott Harris, with ADPH if the updated guidelines were counterproductive to the state testing goals, especially with science showing the majority of those infected won’t show symptoms.

“In fact, that what we’ve been saying all along. Some of that is related to our capacity for testing. We just can’t test everyone. The main reason is that if you’re in close contact. Our advice to you is that you need to go home for 14 days and stay away from people,” Dr. Harris explained.

Because of that 14 day incubation period, according to Dr. Harris, the timing of a test is important.

Click here to read the updated guidelines.

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