WASHINGTON — The U.S. government’s top official in charge of coronavirus testing is urging Americans not to get retested for COVID-19 to confirm they’ve recovered.

Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir said Thursday that repeat testing is not necessary for most people who are infected but remain at home. He said such testing is “clogging up the system.”

U.S. health officials will soon issue guidelines explicitly recommending against the practice, except for patients in the most severe cases.

Americans in many states continue to face long lines at testing sites and lag times obtaining their results. The problems are due to a combination of pressures, including increased testing demand, supply shortages and bottlenecks at laboratories processing the tests.

U.S. officials are aiming to increase the use of rapid tests to shorten turnaround times. Those tests can usually be developed in 15 minutes or less and can be performed at testing sites, doctor’s offices and clinics. They tend to be less accurate than the tests that need to be developed at clinical laboratories.

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