CDC Reverses Guidance on Testing for Fully Vaccinated People

Ralph Ellis

July 29, 2021

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

Along with issuing new face mask guidance this week, the CDC also changed its guidance about when fully vaccinated people should get tested.

Even if they're not showing symptoms, fully vaccinated people should "get tested 3-5 days after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until they receive a negative test result," the agency's website says.

The CDC previously said fully vaccinated people didn't need testing after exposure unless they showed symptoms.

"Our updated guidance recommends vaccinated people get tested upon exposure regardless of symptoms," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, told The New York Times in an email. "Testing is widely available."

On Tuesday, the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people should wear masks in public indoor settings to help prevent the spread of the Delta variant in areas with substantial and high transmission. That was a reversal from the agency's May guidance, in which fully vaccinated people were told they didn't need to wear masks indoors or outdoors in almost all situations.

Sources

CDC: "Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People."

The New York Times: "The C.D.C. now says fully vaccinated people should get tested after exposure even if they don't show symptoms."

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