HomeWashington Letter2020 ▶ ATS Calls for Revision of CDC COVID-19 Testing Guidelines
ATS Calls for Revision of CDC COVID-19 Testing Guidelines

This week, the ATS joined the Infectious Diseases Society of America Trust for America's Health and other public health organizations in a letter to Vice President Pence, head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, urging a reversal of the recent revisions in CDC guidelines around COVID-19 testing. 

Last week, the CDC revised the national guidance for COVID-19 testing to limit testing to individuals with COVID-19 symptoms or those who have had close and prolonged contact with someone infected with SARS-CoV2. The ATS expressed its concern with the CDC’s revised guidance, recommending a restoration of the previous guidance that recommends testing asymptomatic individuals as part of a comprehensive COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and isolation national policy that minimizes community spread of SARS-CoV2. 

The letter, signed by over 230 public health organizations, points out that the policy changes diminish the importance of testing asymptomatic individuals who were exposed to COVID-19, an evidence-based public health intervention to minimize community spread of the virus.  The groups state, “In a moment when we are continuing to see COVID-19 surges in hot spots across the country and a desire to safely open schools and businesses, we need more testing, not less.” The letter continues, The circulating organizations believe the revision does not reflect the best available science and the best interest of the public's health and has resulted in confusion among public health and medical professionals and the public.” The letter concludes by voicing concern about public trust in U.S. scientific and public health agencies, saying, “ The foundation of public confidence in the national response to COVID-19 must include the protection of the CDC’s widely recognized and respected independence and scientific integrity.


Last Reviewed: September 2020