THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- All babies born to women with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should be tested, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines issued Wednesday.
The agency recommends that these newborns be tested 24 hours after birth, and if the test is negative, they should be retested the next day, CNN reported.
In areas of the United States where there is limited availability of testing, these newborns should be given priority, according to the CDC. Doctors should presume these newborns are infected and should keep them isolated from other newborns and temporarily keep them separate from their mothers to reduce the risk for COVID-19 transmission. If the mother tests negative for COVID-19, she can be reunited with her baby.
The agency says infants may be at higher risk for severe COVID-19 than older children and that babies are most likely exposed to the new coronavirus through respiratory droplets from their mother or from other caregivers or visitors, CNN reported. While there have been some limited reports that newborns may be exposed to the virus right before or during labor, that has not been confirmed by research, according to the CDC.