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CDC Changes Guidance on COVID-19 Testing for Vaccinated People

NEW YORK – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance on Tuesday for COVID-19 testing for fully vaccinated people, reversing its previous stance.

The new guidance recommends that vaccinated people with COVID-19 symptoms should isolate themselves from others, be clinically evaluated for the virus, and get tested for SARS-CoV-2 if indicated. The agency noted that patients should let their healthcare providers know their vaccination status when seeking care.

In addition, the CDC said that fully vaccinated, asymptomatic people who have been exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be tested three to five days after the exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for two weeks or until they receive a negative test result.

For those living in a household with immunosuppressed people, those at increased risk of serious disease, or the unvaccinated should consider masking at home for two weeks or until they receive a negative test.

The agency noted that most fully vaccinated people with no COVID-like symptoms don't need to quarantine or be tested after exposure if they wear a mask indoors for two weeks or received a negative test result three to five days after the exposure.

Fully vaccinated people with no symptoms and no known exposure should be exempted from routine screening testing programs, it said.

Previously, the agency's stance was that most vaccinated people didn't need to take additional precautions if they didn't show symptoms.

COVID-19 testing rates have risen in recent weeks, partially due to the spread of the delta variant of the virus across the US.