“If you are in a high COVID-19 transmission area and have attended a public or private gathering of more than 10 people (without widespread mask wearing or physical distancing): You do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your healthcare provider or state or local public health officials recommend you take one.”1

A negative test does not mean you will not develop an infection from the gathering or contract an infection at a later time.

  • You should monitor yourself for symptoms. If you develop symptoms, you should evaluate yourself under the considerations set forth above.
  • You should strictly adhere to CDC mitigation protocols, especially if you are interacting with a vulnerable individual. You should adhere to CDC guidelines to protect vulnerable individuals with whom you live.
  • If you are tested, you should self-isolate at home until your test results are known, and then adhere to your healthcare provider’s advice.

After the move was widely criticized by medical and public health officials, Robert Redfield, MD, CDC director, issued a statement saying testing could be “considered” for all close contacts of confirmed or probable cases.

In his statement, Redfield summarized testing recommendations and mitigation strategies as follows:

  • Testing may be considered for all close contacts of confirmed or probable COVID-19 patients.
  • Those contacts who test positive (symptomatic or asymptomatic) should be managed as a confirmed COVID-19 case.
  • Asymptomatic contacts testing negative, or who are not tested, should strictly adhere to CDC mitigation protocols.
  • If testing is not available, symptomatic close contacts should self-isolate and be managed as a probable COVID-19 case.
  • Anyone who has been in close contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 patient should follow the following mitigation strategies:
    • Monitor symptoms.
    • Take special precautions to protect the vulnerable.
    • Wear a mask.
    • Stay at least six feet apart.
    • Wash hands.
    • Talk to a healthcare provider or public health to determine if a test is needed.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overview of testing for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Updated Aug. 24, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/testing-overview.html