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ANA Responds to Updated CDC Testing Guidelines on Asymptomatic COVID-19 Individuals


Shannon McClendon



Keziah Proctor



SILVER SPRING, MD – The American Nurses Association (ANA) is concerned about the recent changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines that recommends individuals whom “have been in in close contact (within 6 feet) of a person with a COVID 19 infection for at least 15 minutes but do not have not necessarily need a test” unless they are symptomatic. We maintain that it is essential that scientific findings and data be used as evidence in health care decision making, practice interventions and policy. A recent JAMA article (Aug 2020) indicated that many individuals (30-40%) with SARS-CoV-2 infection remained asymptomatic for a prolonged period, and viral load was similar to that in symptomatic patients.  

Trust and transparency are key principles and the public’s expectations of nurses, physicians, health care workers, public health officials and government agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Providing new guidance that does not align with the needs of the public health emergency thwarts our efforts with providing safe patient care, protecting nurses, health care professionals and the communities we serve. We urge the CDC to provide an evidence informed rationale for the change in guidelines and absent that, to maintain its original guidance.

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The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 4 million registered nurses. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit

For high-resolution images of the ANA logo or photos of ANA leadership, please click here.

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