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By Gary Evans, Medical Writer
After widespread criticism from the medical community, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dropped a controversial recommendation that de-emphasized the importance of testing asymptomatic contacts of COVID-19 cases.
In a “clarification” issued Sept. 18, 2020, the CDC stated, “Due to the significance of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, this guidance further reinforces the need to test asymptomatic persons, including close contacts of a person with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
The previous version that caused the uproar — particularly since the CDC had been emphasizing the importance of contact tracing because 40% of cases are asymptomatic — included this guidance on Aug. 24, 2020: “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 health care provider or state or local public health officials recommend you take one.”
The revised version drops the “not necessarily” qualifier, now reading, “If you are in a high SARS-CoV-2 transmission zone and attended a public or private gathering of more than 10 people (without universal mask wearing and/or physical distancing):