County, Governor push back on changes to CDC COVID testing recommendations

Santa Clara County health officials and California Governor Gavin Newsom pushed back hard Wednesday afternoon against changes made by the Centers for Disease Control around who should get a COVID-19 test.

The CDC’s new guidance, released Monday, significantly reduced the types of individuals it recommends get a test. Changes include no longer necessarily recommending those who have had close contact with a COVID-positive individual get a test.

Local and state officials across the country have cried foul at the changes, noting that widespread testing – including of asymptomatic or potentially exposed individuals – is critical to our nation’s success in combating the pandemic.

“It seems entirely bizarre,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County’s Public Health Officer on Wednesday. “It undercuts the way we control an infectious disease.”

Governor Newsom reiterated that sentiment at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

“I don’t agree with the CDC guidance period, full stop, and it’s not the policy in the state of California.”

Testing remains available both by appointment and at walk-up sites across Santa Clara County. More than 50 testing options are available countywide.

“The county continues to provide free, easy, and quick turnaround testing for the public,” Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, the county’s COVID-19 Testing Officer, said over the weekend.