Air Date

July 17, 2020

Featured Guest

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci
Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases


Suzanne P. Clark
President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


The coronavirus pandemic has sparked a lot of controversy among the general public in various ways, from social distance measures and business precautions to contact tracing and testing. While some people avoid testing despite experiencing symptoms or being exposed to someone with COVID-19, others actively seek out tests just for the sake of it. Thankfully, tests are becoming increasingly commonplace and can accommodate these testing patterns.

Because many sick patients are actually asymptomatic, people may be wondering whether they should get tested, even without symptoms. In July 2020, the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation spoke with infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci on some best practices when it comes to coronavirus testing. Here’s what he shared.

Individuals Should Not Get Tested for COVID-19 Without Good Reason

While the country once faced a shortage of COVID-19 tests and turned away countless patients who had legitimate grounds for testing, this is no longer the case.

“If you want to get tested, there are enough tests around that you can [do so],” Dr Fauci said.

However, Dr. Fauci explained, this doesn’t mean you should wake up on a random morning with no symptoms or risk factors and decide to get tested out of curiosity. Individuals don’t need to get tested unless they’re experiencing symptoms, have been exposed to COVID-19, or are complying with contact tracing requests.

“One of the reasons [to get tested] … is to accumulate data as to what the penetrance is,” he noted. “You can be part of … more blanket testing to understand what the level of infection is in communities.”

This information can be extremely useful for health experts to get a better grasp on the virus’s transmission rates and effects on different communities.

Patients Should Keep Up With Preventative Health Care and Routine Screenings

Dr. Fauci recommended that people also continue to prioritize preventative health care and annual doctor’s visits, as long as it is safe to do so both personally and within their community.

“Depending upon where you live and the status of the outbreak … you should try, if it’s safe to do, to continue to do the kind of things that look after your general health.”

This includes things like routine screenings, routine doctor visits, routine procedures like mammograms, oral dental care, etc.

“The one thing we don’t want is for people to stay away from things that later on, because they didn’t do proper screening, would lead to infections or cancers or cardiovascular disease that you could have avoided if you got routine medical care,” Fauci said.