CDC Changes Guidelines for Testing; Looks to Leverage Telemedicine

By Edo Paz, MD
Medically reviewed
March 5, 2020

Yesterday, the CDC changed its guidelines for coronavirus testing. Previously, doctors were encouraged to only test patients who had travelled to high-risk areas (i.e. China, Italy, Iran, etc), had been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, or who had severe enough respiratory symptoms to require hospitalization. Now, the CDC is  recommending that doctors use their individual judgment to determine if patients should be tested for COVID-19, regardless of any suspicion of exposure.

This seems appropriate in response to the disease being discovered in so many places, and seemingly moving within local communities. We expect the CDC’s recommendations to continue to change as we all learn more about the disease and how it is spreading in the U.S.

For example, the CDC also hosted a meeting yesterday with various telemedicine companies, including K. On the call we discussed how the entire medical community can better leverage telemedicine to help the U.S. healthcare system address a surge in volume and prevent disease spread. The CDC’s representatives indicated that telemedicine is likely to play a prominent role in containing the COVID-19 outbreak, and we can expect new guidelines on the role of telemedicine within the coming days.

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K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Edo Paz, MD

Edo Paz is the VP of Medical at K Health. Dr. Paz has two degrees in chemistry from Harvard and an MD from Columbia University. He did his medical training in internal medicine and cardiology at New York-Presbyterian. In addition to his work at K Health, Dr. Paz is a cardiologist at Heartbeat Health, a cardiology practice located in New York City.