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U.S. Department of Education offers free COVID-19 tests for school districts

The United States Department of Education, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is offering free, rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests to interested local educational agencies (LEAs). 

LEAs may request over-the-counter rapid antigen COVID-19 self-tests free of charge for their students, families, staff members and school community. These self-tests are easy to use and can help contain the spread of the virus in schools and communities, according to information provided by the U.S. Department of Education. 

“We encourage LEAs to make use of this free COVID-19 test offering, which schools may use, for example to stock school nurses’ offices and main offices with tests; to send test kits home with students or parents; or to distribute by other means to put these valuable safeguards in the hands of students, parents and staff who need them,” the DOE said. 

The latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on COVID-19 prevention in schools, including recommendations on testing, can be found at Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools and Early Care and Education Programs to Support Safe In-Person Learning, and guidance for mitigation of COVID-19 in the community at large can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html.  

To participate in the COVID-19 Testing Supply Program, LEAs must complete a one-time registration here. Before registering, designate an official point of contact to be responsible for ordering the COVID-19 self-test kits and managing their delivery and dissemination for the district. No other entities should access the registration link.  

When registering online, points of contact will have to provide basic information, such as LEA, ID, LEA name and LEA physical address. All submissions must be verified. Therefore, make sure that your LEA’s information matches the information in the Search for Public School Districts (ed.gov). 

Once registered, points of contact are required to participate in a brief training that provides instructions on how to access COVID-19 self-tests at no cost within the HHS Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response’s Health Partner Ordering Portal (HPOP). 

The training will be on Dec. 6. 

Once the one-time registration process is successfully completed, LEAs will receive instructions on how to participate in the training. LEAs that aren’t able to participate in the scheduled training on Dec. 6 will be provided access to a recording of the training and ancillary materials. Ordering can take place after participating in the training, and ordering will continue while supplies last. 

Orders will be shipped directly to a designated delivery address within the school district and should arrive within about 14 days. 

For more information about the COVID-19 Testing Supply Program, visit https://www.ed.gov/Coronavirus

Posted: Nov 30, 2023,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush
Tags: COVID-19

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