January 12, 2022 – The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that 10 million more tests on COVID-19 will go to schools each month in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus and continue personal teaching.
About 5 million free rapid tests and 5 million free PCR tests will go to schools each month.
“These additional tests will help schools stay safe and open screening tests and testing programs to stay,” he says. on the statement issued by the White House.
“With an additional ten million tests per month, we will make available to schools more than twice the amount of testing that took place in schools across the country in November 2021,” the statement said.
For free rapid tests, the CDC will work with states to apply for “high-need school districts that can put those tests to use immediately,” the announcement said. Once states submit their requests, the first shipments will be delivered later this month.
For free PCR tests, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will deliver test materials, supplies, and lab results through four regional lab hubs. Schools can immediately get access to free lab testing, the announcement said.
The Ministry of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will also set up testing sites in “the hardest hit and most at-risk communities,” the announcement said. The CDC will work with the U.S. Department of Education to connect school districts with testing service providers in their state to establish testing in schools.
The announcement comes at a time when COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are reaching record levels across the country. Public health experts have called for expanded testing on COVID-19 in schools to reach more than 50 million U.S. K-12 students, according to for CNN. The CDC recommends screening at least once a week when community transmission reaches moderate levels.
This week, some cities and school districts have taken steps to slow the spread of the Omicron variant. Several counties in the Atlanta area are postponing personal instruction and starting the year with distance learning, CNN reported.
In Washington, DC, students and public school staff must show evidence of negative tests on COVID-19 before returning to the classroom, the newspaper said. . In New York, public school students who test positive will receive a weekly test at home to know when to return to school.
Last month, CDC published data about “test to stay” programs, which allow students to stay in classrooms during their stay quarantine provided they wear masks and are tested at least twice in 7 days after exposure to COVID-19. Later this week, the CDC will provide schools with more information on how to begin a testing program to stay, according to a White House announcement.
“We know how to ensure the safety of students and school staff – including through vaccinations and amplifiers, the introduction of universal masking indoors, maintaining physical distance, improving ventilation and conducting screening tests on COVID-19, ”the statement said.