Experts Question CDC’s New COVID Testing Guidance

By Andrew Egger, The Dispatch | August 28, 2020

Former Stoneleigh Fellow Meredith Matone spoke to The Dispatch about the Center for Disease Control’s new guidelines on who should seek out a coronavirus test.

Even in a week stuffed with eye-popping headlines, one piece of news out of the Centers for Disease Control was enough to turn heads: The federal body overseeing the pandemic had quietly changed its guidelines on who ought to receive a coronavirus test. Formerly, the CDC had recommended that anyone who had come into contact with a confirmed carrier be tested as quickly as possible. The simple reason was that people infected with COVID tend to become contagious some time before they begin to show symptoms.

The new guidance, however, flips that on its head: If you aren’t showing symptoms, the CDC now says, and aren’t personally in a high-risk group yourself, there’s no need to get a test.[…]

“As more information has come out about the CDC decision, it seems like a decision that was highly conflicted,” said Dr. Meredith Matone, scientific director for PolicyLab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “From a public health perspective, this decision is unwise and it is hard to understand the motivation.”

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