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Faye Flam

New CDC Covid Testing Guidelines Have It Backward

The U.S. needs more coronavirus testing, not less.

Get used to it.

Get used to it.

Photographer: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Updated on

At least so far, the two most glaring failures of the U.S. response to the pandemic are in testing and public communication. Both came together this week when the CDC changed its testing guidelines in a way that had public health scientists baffled.

The new guidelines say people who don’t have symptoms of Covid-19 don’t need to be tested — even if they think they were exposed. “CDC is driving us all crazy,” says Barry Bloom, a professor of public health at Harvard. “This just makes absolutely no sense.”