Biden to Give 10 Million More Tests Per Month to Schools
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The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that 10 million more COVID-19 tests will go to schools each month in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus and keep classes in person going.
More than 5 million free rapid tests and 5 million PCR tests will go to schools every month.
“These additional tests will help schools safely remain open and implement screening tests and test to stay programs,” according to a statement issued by the White House.
The statement said that “With the additional ten millions tests per month, schools will be able to conduct more than twice the volume of testing that was carried out in all the schools in the country in November 2021.”
For the free rapid tests The CDC will collaborate with states to submit requests for “high-need school districts that could use these tests immediately for use,” according to the announcement. Once states have submitted their requests, the first shipment will be delivered later this month.
For the cost-free PCR tests for the free PCR tests, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will deliver testing materials, supplies, and the results of the tests through four regional lab hubs. Schools will be able to access the free lab-based testing as soon as they are notified the announcement stated.
According to the announcement according to the announcement, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services will also establish “surge” testing centers in “hardest-hit and at-risk communities. The CDC will work with the U.S. Department of Education to connect school districts to testing companies in their state to establish testing in schools.
The announcement comes as COVID-19-related cases and hospitalizations reach record highs across the nation. According to CNN, public health experts have called to increase COVID-19 testing in schools in order to reach America’s more than 50 million students in the K-12 school age. The CDC recommends screening at minimum once per week if you live in a community where transmission is moderate.
This week, several cities and school districts have taken measures to stop the spread of the Omicron variant. Some Atlanta-area schools are putting off in-person classes and launching the school year with remote learning, CNN reported.
According to the news outlet, Washington, DC public school students and staff have to show negative COVID-19 test results before they are allowed to return to the classroom. . New York City public school students who are HIV-positive will be given a week of at-home tests to help them know when they are eligible to return to school.
The CDC released data last month about “test-to-stay” programs. These programs allow students to remain in school during their quarantine time, provided they wear masks and pass a test at least twice in the seven days following the diagnosis of COVID-19. The White House announced that the CDC will give schools more information about how to start the program later in the week.
“We know how to ensure that staff and students are at a safe distance from school, for example, through boosters and vaccinations and implementing universal indoor masking, maintaining physical separation, improving ventilation, and carrying out COVID-19 screening testing,” the statement said.
White House: “FACT SHEET Biden-Harris Administration Boosts COVID-19 Testing in Schools in order to keep students safe and schools Open,” Jan. 12 2022.
CNN: “The Biden administration will offer an additional 10 million Covid-19 tests per month to K-12 schools.”
CDC: “Science Brief — Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within K-12 Schools and Early care and Education Programs — Updated”