CDC Abruptly Drops “Gold Standard” COVID Test

( – Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the “gold standard” of testing for the virus has been the Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel (PCR). That is set to change now.

On July 21, 2021, the CDC sent notice to those who are performing the testing letting them know that after December 31, they will withdraw the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for that test. In other words, the various labs that test samples will have to use other methods that have the stamp of approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). CDC spokespeople have said that the changeover is due to the continued evolution of testing, which now allows a sample to be tested for both the coronavirus and the more common influenza strains simultaneously.

It seems to be a logical progression, because groups that put out products like these have teams dedicated to improving their methodologies, but that isn’t always good enough for everybody. Some point to an Information Notice from the World Health Organization (WHO) that was published January 13 as proof that it’s really about the possibility of false-positive results.

Likewise, the peer-reviewed publication The Lancet presented a research paper on July 13 covering the same topic. Whichever reason is the truth — or some combination of the two — the end result remains the same: testing facilities need to find another way before year-end.

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