Fully vaccinated people should get tested after exposure even if asymptomatic: CDC

The CDC has released new testing recommendations for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19, advising vaccinated Americans to be tested if they are exposed to COVID-19, even if they don't have symptoms. 

The July 27 update differs from the agency's previous guidelines, which said fully vaccinated people didn't need to be tested after exposure to the virus unless they were experiencing symptoms.

"Our updated guidance recommends vaccinated people get tested upon exposure regardless of symptoms," Rochelle Walensky, MD, director of the CDC, wrote in an email to The New York Times. "Testing is widely available."

After exposure, vaccinated individuals should wear a mask in public indoor spaces and get tested three to five days later, according to the CDC. If the results are negative, they can stop wearing masks indoors.  

The new recommendation came the same day the agency recommended that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in communities where transmission levels are high. 

Dr. Walensky said during a July 27 media advisory that the agency updated its guidance after reviewing new science related to the delta variant. The delta variant remains the predominant strain in the U.S., with recent outbreak investigations finding that the delta variant behaves differently than other strains, according to Dr. Walensky. In rare cases, some vaccinated people can get the delta variant and have the same levels of the virus in their bodies as unvaccinated people, meaning they can also spread the infection to others.   

On the same day, the agency also advised all clinicians to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and that they encourage staff and patients to get the vaccine and advise immunocompromised patients to continue all prevention measures after vaccination.


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