Jul 28, 2021 - Health

CDC: Vaccinated people should get tested after exposure even if they show no symptoms

Picture of a person getting tested
A person gets a COVID-19 test outside The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revised its COVID-19 testing guidance for fully vaccinated people, recommending tests after exposure even if they don't show any symptoms.

Flashback: The agency previously said that fully vaccinated people did not need tests after coming into contact with an infected person unless they experienced symptoms.

Driving the news: The new testing guidelines came the same day that the CDC said those who are fully vaccinated should wear masks indoors in certain areas of the U.S. that have substantial or high virus transmission.

  • The agency also clarified that masks should be used regardless of the level of the level of transmission "if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if a member of your household has a weakened immune system."
  • CDC Director Rochelle Walensky clarified that the change was prompted by new data that suggests "that even vaccinated people who are infected by Delta may carry large amounts of the virus and transmit it to others," the New York Times writes.

What they're saying: "If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested 3-5 days after your exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms," per the CDC's updated recommendation.

  • "You should also wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative. You should isolate for 10 days if your test result is positive."
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