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W.Va. COVID-19 Czar says more info needed from CDC on call for less COVID-19 testing

By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Dr. Clay Marsh, state COVID-19 czar and vice president for health sciences at West Virginia University, said Wednesday he wants more explanation on a change in COVID-19 testing guidelines issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We need to wait to get more guidance from the CDC on this,” Marsh said of the change Monday to recommend that people exposed to an infected person no longer be tested for COVID-19 unless they’re experiencing symptoms of the virus.

Marsh said that contradicts the philosophy of many public health officials who believe, “The more testing we do, like in West Virginia, the better.”

Marsh speculated that a possible reason for the policy change stems from delays nationally in getting test results. He said an asymptomatic person infected through contact may not test positive for five to seven days after the initial contact. Unless the COVID-19 test results come back in 48 to 72 hours, the individual might be just as well to just complete a 14-day self-quarantine without undergoing testing, he said.

“My perception on this new approach is related to the challenge we have in how rapidly we can get testing back,” Marsh said. ….

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