Details of the guidance are still being hammered out but it would be aimed partly at discouraging COVID-19 patients who have completed home quarantine from getting retested before returning to work or school, said Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Speaking on a call with reporters, he said such unnecessary tests were “clogging up the system.”
“You do not need to be retested unless you are a critically ill person in the hospital or a very unusual case with immune suppression in which case you could shed virus for longer than seven or eight days,” he said.
“Turnaround times continue to be an issue” for COVID-19 tests, he added, saying he would like to see the average get down to three days. Currently, only 26 states are taking three days or less to produce test results, with one state taking more than five days.