Thursday, August 27, 2020

What to make of CDC's change of position on testing asymptomatic persons for COVID? Is this about the uncompensated personal sacrifice?


CDC Director Robert Redfield backtracked somewhat on an earlier CDC website change downplaying the need for people without symptoms to be tested if they have been in situations where they would have been exposed.

Presymptomatic cases may go to have significant disease but asymptomatic people never develop any but the most trivial symptoms – but some of them have shown heart damage or clotting later, or even lung abnormalities.

If an asymptomatic person is tested and found positive, then their contacts may be tracked.

The Hill has a story by Jessie Hellman.

Newer saliva antigen tests should be coming on stream soon and might even be available to do at home.

Trump’s motive seems to be related to the idea that someone show does not become objectively ill should not be required to make the personal sacrifice of quarantine for the common welfare of others, when there is no guarantee that they will not have considerable consequences to their own lives from the possibly unnecessary quarantine.  There are some small exposures that are unavoidable, even with proper mask wearing and social distancing.

Public policy has not sufficiently focused on compensating those isolated or their employers, or on guaranteeing their access to other services they may need;  sometimes quarantine must be done away from home in a hotel.  There is little attention to what happens if something breaks in a home where someone is quarantined.

British nurse John Campbell says that one reason may be that a negative test on an asymptomatic person may not guarantee absence of infection.

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