Medical experts puzzled about new CDC guidelines for reduced COVID-19 testing

Aug 26, 2020

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) — The U.S Center for Disease Control has been recommending that individuals should get tested, if they suspect they’ve been exposed to COVID-19, even if they aren’t showing any symptoms.

This week, the CDC changed its COVID-19 testing guidelines to say that some people without symptoms may not need to be tested, even if they’ve been in close contact with someone known to have the virus.

Dr. Bradley Dreifuss is an emergency medicine physician who doesn’t think what the CDC did makes any sense, because reducing the number of people tested will make it harder to stop the spread. “Especially if we are talking about the strategy being test, trace and treat,” said Dreifuss. “If we are not testing, how are we going to know whether its safe to open our universities, our cities and our economy?”

A number of medical experts across the country are now accusing the Trump administration of putting pressure on the CDC to reduce the number COVID-19 tests being administered, as a way to reduce the number of positive cases reported.

Dr. Ross Goldberg is president of The Arizona Medical Association. He said the change in CDC guidelines isn’t as big a deal as some are making it out to be, because if you think you need a test you should get a test. “Their still default is, go talk to your doctor,” said Goldberg. “So my answer to all this is – yes – they said not every patient needs a test. But I would still say if you’re not sure, if you’ve had exposure, you should talk to your physician and provide some guidance.”