Updated: Aug 29, 2020
The CDC has updated their guidelines for the public throughout this pandemic, and I think most of us can agree their recommendations have been, at their best, “uneven".
And at their worst, unmitigated disasters. The most recent guidelines regarding COVID-19 testing were finalized while Dr. Fauci was under general anesthesia. I mean... I just can’t. Yet it was announced these new guidelines were approved by all members of the COVID-19 Task Force, INCLUDING Dr. Fauci. Apparently, these changes reflect “current evidence” but HHS will not state what that is. Apparently, the plan is for more “directed” testing, not "less" testing, due to high demand and a huge backlog of tests. But when Dr. Fauci was asked about the updated guidelines, he said he felt the new guidelines were misleading and give the impression asymptomatic spread is no longer a concern when it CLEARLY STILL IS - NOTHING has changed regarding the evidence showing asymptomatic spread may contribute to ~40% of all COVID infections. If you truly believe these new recommendations are rooted in science, and NOT political in any way, then, like I said... I just can’t.
THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE - though there ARE others - between the prior recommendations and the newest recommendations is HUGE and totally baffling. First, let us ensure everyone understands what defines a close contact: Close contact: any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before the infected person’s onset of illness. Time of exposure can vary depending on the type of exposure - for example, if the infected person coughed or sneezed. PRIOR CDC recommendation: "Testing is recommended for ALL close contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Because of the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, it is important that contacts of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection be quickly identified and tested." Please see my previous post below for a reminder of the differences between a/pre-symptomatic spread:
https://www.therealestmd.com/post/asymptomatic-and-presymptomatic-infected-not-the-same CURRENT CDC recommendation: "If you have been in close contact (within 6 ft) of a person with a COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes but do not have symptoms: You do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider or State or local public health official recommend you take one.” This new recommendation makes NO sense. And it reeks similarly to the early CDC recommendation of "masks are not needed for the general population". That recommendation had NOTHING to do with science, but mask shortages. And this recommendation clearly has NOTHING to do with science, but testing backlogs.
So fucking stupid. My own PERSONAL OPINION as a health care provider: if you know you have been in close contact with someone with suspected or known COVID-19, GET TESTED. PERIOD. The fact the wealthiest nation in the world is nearly 6 months into this pandemic, and a backlog of tests is being used as an excuse to change science-based testing guidelines is baffling. Though considering the US government just bought 150 million of Abbott's new rapid test, the US seems to believe this test could be the answer to eliminate the backlog in testing. I will address my thoughts about this in detail tomorrow. #covid19 #cdc #mess