The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that COVID-19 tests “may be considered” for anyone exposed after new guidance suggested people without symptoms might not need one.
Dr. Robert Redfield clarified in a statement late Wednesday that “testing may be considered for all close contacts of confirmed or probable Covid-19 patients,” CNBC reported.
“Testing is meant to drive actions and achieve specific public health objectives,” Redfield said.
“Everyone who needs a Covid-19 test, can get a test. Everyone who wants a test does not necessarily need a test; the key is to engage the needed public health community in the decision with the appropriate follow-up action,” he added.
Redfield defended the new guidance saying that they were designed with input from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, adding that they “received appropriate attention, consultation and input from task force experts.”
His remarks come after the new guidelines Monday concerned some experts, who pointed out that people without symptoms are responsible for a significant portion of new infections.
“People without symptoms account for up to 50% of transmission,” Dr. Leana Wen, a physician and former Baltimore health commissioner wrote on Twitter. “We need MORE testing, not less.”