US government to provide 10million covid-19 tests per month to schools
In renewed efforts to keep classrooms open for students in the United States, the Biden Administration has announced new initiatives to provide additional 10 million covid-19 tests per month to schools.
According to the administration fact sheet, 5 million free rapid tests and 5 million free PCR tests would be distributed to schools each month.
The Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will set up “surge” testing sites in communities with high transmission while the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will work with the US Education Department to help connect school districts with testing providers that their states have already contracted with to set up Covid-19 testing in schools.
“Students have sacrificed so much over the course of the pandemic, and the President has been clear in his words and his actions that his Administration will do all that it can to keep schools safely open for all students,” the fact sheet said.
The announcement comes as the number of US patients hospitalized with Covid-19 reaches record highs, with many parents wondering about their children’s safety. Public health experts have repeatedly stressed the need for expanded Covid-19 testing in schools, but it’s unclear what impact the administration’s latest effort will have given the volume of students back in the classroom. About 53 million students attended K-12 public schools in 2019, according to the US Census Bureau.
According to the CDC, Covid-19 screening testing should be offered for students at least once per week when community transmission is at moderate, substantial or high levels.
Some cities and school districts are already taking aggressive action as the Omicron variant sweeps the country.
Several Atlanta-area school districts are delaying in-person classes and starting 2022 with remote learning. In Washington, DC, public school students and staff must show proof of negative Covid-19 tests before returning from winter break.