Words were certainly not minced during yesterday’s statewide news conference, following a divisive new update to the Center for Disease Control’s COVID-19 testing guidelines.
Following the unveiling of the recent amendment, some were quick to point out that it effectively recommends that individuals who have had high-risk exposure to others who have tested positive for the virus not undergo testing themselves.
During yesterday’s conference, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health Dr. Steven Stack offered his analysis and insight on the current guidelines.
“In many ways, the guidance is good. The guidance draws attention to high-risk populations in nursing homes and actually says that people who are in high-risk populations, or people who work with high-risk populations, should get tested regularly”, Stack said. “The part that has engendered controversy is that the guidance appears to discourage people from getting tested even if you may have had a high-risk exposure.”
This updated guideline seemingly goes against the common belief held by medical professionals that as much as 40% of the population could be infected and potentially spreading the virus. Stack then encouraged Kentucky citizens to continue following the local state guidance which suggests more frequent testing should occur in areas where the disease is known to be more active.
Dr. Stack added that the administration is now sharing the weekly reports for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, which can be found on the main Team Kentucky COVID-19 webpage.
Following Dr. Stack’s analysis, Governor Andy Beshear expressed a more emphatic opinion on the matter.
“I want to be a little more explicit about the CDC’s sudden change saying those who have had direct and high-risk exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should not get tested,” said Gov. Beshear. “That’s reckless. It contradicts everything that we have learned about this virus. It’s inexplicable. I mean come on, it’s common sense. Let’s make sure we’re doing the right thing in Kentucky.”