Canadians eager to keep border shut after U.S. changes COVID-19 testing rules
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its testing guidelines this week, and it looks like Americans no longer need to get tested if they've been in close contact with someone that has COVID-19.
No, really; it's on the CDC website.
Previously, the CDC said that testing was appropriate for people with recent or suspected exposure, even if they were asymptomatic.
Now, the public health agency has reversed that stance — allegedly due to pressure from the Trump administration, CNN reports.
"If you have been in close contact (within 6 feet) of a person with a COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes but do not have symptoms, you do not necessarily need a test," the CDC says on its website.
BREAKING: In a very concerning statement, the @CDCgov now says people exposed to COVID-19 do not need to get tested.— Andy Slavitt @ 🏡 (@ASlavitt) August 26, 2020
This is incomprehensible at almost every level. Will report back after a couple convos. Follow if interested. https://t.co/8uh77h5KYx
The only exceptions to that advice are vulnerable individuals, health-care providers, or people instructed by local public health officials to take a COVID-19 test.
The new CDC guidelines are understandably baffling many American citizens, doctors and even New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who says that his state will completely ignore the "indefensible" advice.
The CDC reversed its guidance to say that people in close contact with a COVID-positive person don't need to get tested.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 26, 2020
This is not science. It’s politics. Politics that are dangerous to public health.
And as you might expect, Canadians have some thoughts on the matter, too — particularly when it comes to reopening the Canada-U.S. border in September.
"Do Americans agree with this?" one person wrote of the updated guidelines. "Please stay in the U.S. Don't come to Canada."
"Hope our Canada/US border stays closed until Trump is dumped!" another Canadian added.
"Another reason for Canada to close the border to the USA," a Toronto resident wrote. "Strange decision here."
"Build the wall," yet another Canadian chimed in.
Canada really needs to keep the border to the US closed https://t.co/0JfIWnR6P0— Jeffrey Luscombe (@JeffreyLuscombe) August 26, 2020
Canada, on the other hand, continues to ramp up COVID-19 testing and contact tracing across the country.
As of Aug. 26, labs across Canada have tested more than 5.2 million people for COVID-19; over the past week, an average of 47,987 people have been tested daily across Canada.
"Testing helps reduce the spread of the virus," the Canadian government website says. "When someone tests positive for COVID-19, they can be isolated at home or, if needed, in a hospital."
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