Jan. 12, 2022 — 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 in-person classes going. Schools will receive approximately 5 million rapid tests free of charge and 5,000,000 PCR tests for free each month.
” These additional tests will allow schools to remain open, implement screening testing, and test to stay programs.” According to a statement released by the White House.
“With the additional ten million tests per month, we will make available to schools more than double the volume of testing that took place in schools across the nation in November 2021,” the statement said.
The CDC will collaborate with states to request “high-need school district that can use these tests immediately” for the free rapid tests. According to the announcement. The first shipment will be sent out to states once they have submitted their requests. This is expected to happen later in the month.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USA) will provide testing materials, supplies and laboratory results via four regional lab hubs. The announcement stated that schools can immediately access the lab-based free testing.
The Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will also set up “surge” testing sites in the “hardest-hit and highest-risk communities,” according to the announcement. The CDC and the U.S. Department of Education will collaborate to connect schools with state testing providers to establish testing in schools.
The announcement comes as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations reach record highs across the country. Public health experts have called for expanded COVID-19 testing in schools to reach America’s more than 50 million K-12 students, according to CNN. If community transmission is moderate, the CDC recommends screening at most once per week.
This week, several cities and school districts took steps to stop the spread of Omicron variant. Several Atlanta-area districts are delaying in-person classes and starting the year with rem