The administration will distribute 5 million free rapid tests and 5 million free PCR tests to schools each month, according to an administration fact sheet.
The Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will set up “surge” testing sites in communities with high transmission. And 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.
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.
And in New York City, public school students who test positive will get a week’s worth of at-home tests so they can know when it’s safer to return to school.
People whose symptoms are improving can leave isolation after five full days if they are fever-free for 24 hours, the CDC said. They should wear masks around others for an additional five days.