‘Shame on the CDC’ – Gov. Cuomo says agency’s new COVID-19 guidance is political
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed course on Monday, quietly updating it's website with new COVID-19 recommendations.
The CDC now recommends coronavirus testing only for people who have symptoms or people who have had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes).
It clearly states: "Not everyone needs to be tested."
Dr. Dwayne Breining, the executive director of Northwell Health laboratories, spoke to News 12 about the changes.
“It's a significant step down from what the guidance was before and what we know was the possibility of asymptotic infections,” he says.
The CDC also changed guidance for health care workers, saying even if they are in close contact with a COVID-19 infection, they do not need a test unless they have symptoms. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that it “totally violates public health standards and rationale.”
“The only plausible rationale is they want fewer people taking tests because as the president has said, if we don't take tests, you won't know that people are COVID positive,” said Gov. Cuomo.
There's also another new piece of information from a study out of Oxford and MIT: Despite the long-standing advice, the research says 6 feet may not be enough to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The researchers looked not only at respiratory droplets, but aerosol particles, saying they can linger in the air and travel further; especially by someone coughing or shouting.
When questioned about the changes, the CDC directed reporters to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a response.
The HHS says asymptomatic testing could still be warranted "when directed by public health leaders or health care providers" who would take community spread into account.