Nevada health officials reject new, loosened CDC COVID testing guideline

Nevada health officials say they won’t adopt the new and loosened COVID-19 testing guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control.

For several months, the CDC has recommended that all persons with close contacts to people with the infection be tested. But this week, CDC changed that guidance to say that some individuals without symptoms may not need to be tested.

The New York Times reports that the White House ordered the change to reduce the number of tests and, therefore, the number of positives. President Trump has repeatedly blamed the number of tests for the high rate of positives saying to reduce the positive tests, the nation should cut back on testing.

Nevada’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement Wednesday saying the state will continue to test all individuals who have been in close contact for 15 minutes with a person confirmed or suspected of being infected by the virus.

“We disagree with the change in CDC guidelines and will continue to strongly recommend and urge testing for all individuals — symptomatic or asymptomatic — who have been in close contact of persons with DOVID-19,” said Dr. Ishan Azzam, Nevada’s chief medical officer. “The continued testing of asymptomatic individuals is vital in helping state and local health officials determine the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, in addition to being a critical component of our contact tracing efforts.”

Nevada joins a growing number of states rejecting the new rules, including New York.

For those who get tested, Azzam said they should self-quarantine until they receive the results — typically two to four days.


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