cloudy.png
Wednesday June 29th, 2022 12:33PM

Biden sending more COVID tests to schools to keep them open

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is increasing federal support for COVID-19 testing for schools in a bid to keep them open amid the omicron surge.

The White House announced Wednesday that the administration is making a dedicated stream of 5 million rapid tests and 5 million lab-based PCR tests available to schools starting this month to ease supply shortages and promote the safe reopening of schools. That's on top of more than $10 billion devoted to school-based tests authorized in the COVID-19 relief law and about $130 billion earmarked in that law to keep kids in school.

The new initiative comes as the White House faces mounting criticism over long lines and supply shortages for testing and after the nation's third-largest public school system, in Chicago, closed for days after an impasse between teachers and officials over reopening policies. The closure was a black eye for Biden, who made reopening schools — and keeping them open — a priority.

“We have been very clear, publicly and privately, that we want to see schools open," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday. She cited the massive amount of funding for schools as evidence of the administration ensuring "we were prepared and had resources needed to address whatever may come up in the pandemic.”

The new crop of tests is enough to cover only a small fraction of the more than 50 million students and educators in the nation's schools. The administration hopes the tests will fill critical shortfalls in schools that are having difficulty securing tests through existing federal funding or are facing outbreaks of the more transmissible COVID-19 variant.

The White House says states will be able to request the tests immediately and the tests will be available for use by the end of the month.

The administration is also working to target other federally backed testing sites to support school testing programs, including locating Federal Emergency Management Agency sites at schools.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to release new guidance later this week to help schools implement “test-to-stay” policies, in which schools use rapid tests to keep close contacts of those who test positive in the classroom.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Health
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Biden sending more COVID tests to schools to keep them open
The Biden administration is increasing federal support for COVID-19 testing for schools in a bid to keep them open amid the omicron surge
5:23AM ( 5 minutes ago )
China's Tianjin orders more testing of 14 million residents
The northern Chinese city of Tianjin has ordered a second round of COVID-19 testing of all 14 million residents after dozens of cases of the omicron strain were found during initial screenings
5:19AM ( 8 minutes ago )
NATO, Russia in high-level talks as Ukraine tensions simmer
Top NATO and Russian officials are meeting to try to bridge deep differences over the future of Ukraine amid deep skepticism that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s security proposals for easing tensions are genuine
5:09AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Former Senate leader Harry Reid to lie in state at Capitol
Former Sen. Harry Reid will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol as colleagues and friends pay tribute to a hardscrabble Democrat who served five terms in the Senate
12:13AM ( 5 hours ago )
Universal health care bill advances in California Assembly
California Democrats have taken their first step toward creating a universal health care system
11:55PM ( 5 hours ago )
Biden challenges Senate on voting: 'Tired of being quiet!'
President Joe Biden is challenging senators to “stand against voter suppression,” urging them to change Senate rules in order to pass voting rights legislation that Republicans are blocking from debate and votes
10:22PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
China's Tianjin orders more testing of 14 million residents
The northern Chinese city of Tianjin has ordered a second round of COVID-19 testing of all 14 million residents after dozens of cases of the omicron strain were found during initial screenings
5:19AM ( 8 minutes ago )
NATO, Russia in high-level talks as Ukraine tensions simmer
Top NATO and Russian officials are meeting to try to bridge deep differences over the future of Ukraine amid deep skepticism that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s security proposals for easing tensions are genuine
5:09AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Putin: Russia on the verge of a new virus surge
President Vladimir Putin has reiterated warnings that Russia is facing a new surge of coronavirus infections because of the highly contagious omicron variant
5:04AM ( 23 minutes ago )
China's Tianjin orders more testing on 14 million residents
The northern Chinese city of Tianjin has ordered a second round of COVID-19 testing on all 14 million residents after multiple cases of the omicron strain were found during initial screenings that began Sunday
4:53AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Amid Djokovic backlash, Australia grapples with omicron wave
The omicron variant of the coronavirus has swept across Australia despite its high vaccination rate and strict border policies that kept the country largely sealed off from the world for almost two years
4:48AM ( 39 minutes ago )