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The Biden administration on Wednesday announced it is increasing COVID-19 testing by distributing 5 million free, rapid tests to K-12 schools each month in an effort to help keep them open cases of the highly transmissible omicron variant surge across the nation.
The administration’s move to increase testing and implement “test to stay” programs is in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The administration says the additional testing capacity comes on top of the CDC’s Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity program, which distributed $10 billion in resources to states to support COVID-19 testing in schools.
Officials said the CDC will work with states who can submit requests for additional tests for “high-need” school districts and noted that the first shipments of tests will be delivered later this month.
Officials said the administration is also making available lab capacity to support an additional 5 million PCR tests per month for schools to perform “individual and pooled testing” in classrooms nationwide. The testing is set to be delivered through the Department of Health and Human Services’ Operation Expanded Testing program, which was funded thorough the