In an effort to keep schools open in the face of omicron, the Biden administration is expanding government assistance for COVID-19 testing.
On Wednesday, the White House declared the president will begin making a dedicated flow of five million diagnostic procedures and five million lab-based PCR tests accessible to educational institutions, starting this month.
This will be done in order to alleviate supply constraints and focus on promoting the safe relaunch of schools following the recent outbreak.
@GovMikeDeWine Not a single at home Covid test to be found in the county. Schools removed mask requirements last Monday. Positivity rate nearing 20% and climbing.
— snartkety (@snartkety) January 10, 2022
Chicago Teachers Union’s Recent Issues
Additionally, the COVID-19 relief law granted more than $10 billion in funding for school-based assessments, as well as around $130 billion in funding to keep children in school.
There’s been a rapidly increasing backlash over huge waits and supply constraints for testing, as well as the closure of the country’s third-largest public school system in Chicago.
This was due to a disagreement between teachers and administrators over reopening policy initiatives; therefore, the White House has announced a new initiative to improve school safety.
A black eye fell on Biden, who made restoring schools a priority, as well as keeping them open.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated on Monday the administration has made it very clear, both explicitly and implicitly, they want schools to remain open.
School funding has been increased significantly in recent months. Psaki pointed to this as proof the Biden administration is committed to ensuring schools are prepared and have the tools they require to deal with whatever the pandemic throws at them.
Addressing Important Gaps in Schools
Upwards of 50 million schoolchildren and educators are served by the current round of examinations, which is only a small part of the total number of assessments available.
The government expects the tests will address important gaps in schools having problems obtaining testing through current federal funding or seeing outbreaks of the highly transmissible COVID-19.
It is expected that state officials can request the tests right away and they will be available for use by the end of this month, according to White House officials.
Efforts are also being made to identify and target other federally supported testing locations to assist school testing initiatives. Efforts include the establishment of Federal Emergency Management Agency testing sites in schools.
Test to Stay!
Biden to send 10 million covid tests to schools monthly – The Washington Post https://t.co/3dPFvosDyS
— Javier (mascarilla😷 ventilación 🪟💨 📈CO2 ) 🚫🦠 (@nikomer75) January 12, 2022
Additional guidelines are expected to be released later this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
These guidelines from the CDC will, of course, be designed to assist schools in implementing “test to stay” policies.
With these policies, the fast testing will end up being used to remain in close touch with students who test positive in the school environment. In the end, the schools will be happy with the initiative as the Biden administration looks to curb the virus.