U.S. health officials have sparked a wave of confusion after posting guidelines that coronavirus testing is not necessary for people who have been in close contact with infected people.
The new guidance was posted earlier this week on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency formerly advised testing for close contacts. But on Monday that was changed to say that testing is no longer recommended for symptom-less people who were within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes.
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ABC11 asked State Health Director and the Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Betsey Tilson about the new guidance on Wednesday.
She noted that, if you're in close contact with a person known to be infected, you still need to quarantine for 14 days regardless of if you're getting tested.
In North Carolina, "we know we still have a lot of viral transmission," she said, and therefore, the state will continue to follow the recommendation that, if you've had close contact with an infected person, you should get tested.
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Tilson and NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen both said that one of the reasons for the CDC guidance change was so that states could make their own decisions about how to handle testing.
On Monday, the NCDHHS COVID-19 dashboard was updated to include testing turnaround times. Currently, the average turnaround time in the state is 2.2 days.
CDC changes guidance on testing: Here's what North Carolina health officials say about it