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COVID-19: Lamont, Fellow Governors Question CDC's Rationale For Change In Testing Policy

Gov. Ned Lamont
Gov. Ned Lamont Photo Credit: State of Connecticut

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is among governors criticizing the CDC’s recent policy changes regarding guidance for COVID-19 testing and mandatory quarantines for some travelers from out of state.

This week, the CDC said that anyone who comes into close contact with a person who has been exposed to COVID-19 no longer is required to get tested, instead only recommending people get tested if they are considered high-risk for the virus or are instructed to get tested by a doctor.

On Thursday, Aug. 27, Lamont, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issued a joint statement questioning the federal government’s decision to weaken the COVID-19 testing guidelines.

"The CDC has been a consistent, credible, and reliable guide for our nation for decades, providing clear and science-based guidance on everything from infectious disease to vaccines,” they said.

“That role is vital to our collective public health and it must continue. This 180-degree reversal of COVID-19 testing guidelines is reckless, and not based on science and has the potential to do long-term damage to the institution's reputation.”

The governors said that the federal health agencies have not shared any specific scientific rationale for the policy changes, calling it a politically-motivated move.

“(This) substitutes sound science-based public health guidance with the President's misinformation,” they said. “This abrupt and ill-informed shift threatens the robust testing regimes our states have worked tirelessly to stand up with our federal partners. 

“Health experts recommend testing close contacts of individuals with COVID-19 to identify and prevent asymptomatic spread,” the statement continued. “This type of robust testing by our states has been a key factor in our success so far to flatten the curve in the tri-state area.”

All three reiterated Cuomo’s stance, announced Wednesday, Aug. 26, that they will continue to follow the COVID-19 mandates each state has been following that has kept the infection rate at or below 1 percent for the past few weeks.

“New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will continue to follow the advice of health experts to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19, and therefore will not be changing our guidance that prioritizes testing for this population."

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