Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Chief Scientific Officer Ross McKinney, Jr., MD, and AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, issued the following statement on revised guidelines on SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) testing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
“The AAMC is alarmed at the changes to the CDC’s guidelines for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) testing which recommends that individuals who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 do not need to be tested unless they show symptoms of the disease. This recommendation is irresponsible when we know that roughly 40% of SARS-CoV-2 transmissions come from an asymptomatic person. A high proportion of people who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 never develop symptoms but are contagious and can infect others who may later develop symptoms.
The revised guidance will result in less testing at exactly the time when we need more testing in order to control the pandemic. In many parts of the country, the rate of positive testing remains over 10%, demonstrating that the virus is still spreading and that testing rates are inadequate. The essential pandemic control function of contact tracing requires the testing of all contacts of infected individuals.
These CDC guidelines go against the best interests of the American people and are a step backward in fighting the pandemic. The AAMC urges the CDC to return to its earlier testing recommendations, and we stand ready to discuss and work with our colleagues at the CDC to optimize future recommendations.”