After growing concerns, the CDC backtracked on new guidelines this week.
KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — Widespread testing has been key for fighting the spread of COVID-19.
This week, the Centers for Disease Control said people who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive but are asymptomatic do not need to be tested.
But after growing concerns, the CDC backtracked on those new guidelines, saying that everyone should consider testing if they have been exposed to the coronavirus.
CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield released a statement saying in part “testing may be considered for all close contacts of confirmed or probable COVID-19 patients.”
Those changes caused confusion on local levels.
“There’s a lot of evidence right now that says there can be asymptomatic or presymptomatic transmission of this disease,” said Charity Menefee with the Knox County Health Department.
She said KCHD is not required to follow CDC testing criteria but tries to follow the Tennessee Department of Health’s recommendations as much as they can.
“We’re in a donut hole surrounded by a lot of different counties that all follow Tennessee Department of Health guidance,” she said. “So when things are drastically different it can be confusing for people.”
The health department continues to urge people who have been in contact or are concerned to get tested. The department will always try to follow the science and data in their decision making and plan to continue.
“We are trying to make the best recommendations we can for our community,” said Menefee.
County-wide testing has been moved to the Knox County Halls Senior Center for Friday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.