Wednesday, January 19, 2022

White House promises to get schools 10 million more COVID-19 tests per month

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The White House on Wednesday promised to provide schools with 10 million additional COVID-19 tests per month amid an increase in the Omicron option – even though it is still working on President Biden’s plan to test 500 million homes.

The Biden administration said it will distribute 5 million rapid tests to schools and provide an additional 5 million PCR tests through the Department of Health and Human Services program, which collects virus samples and sends them to laboratories.

“Each of these 10 million additional tests each month will allow schools to double the amount of tests they conducted in November,” White House Coronavirus Coordinator Jeff Zients told a news conference.

“The president is clear: the country’s schools can and should be open. And we’ve given resources to state and local leaders to be open. “

White House COVID-19 Reaction Coordinator Jeff Zients said additional tests are designed to keep the country’s schools open.

Additional tests to be carried out after the average daily number of infections in the country has risen to 751,000 in 7 days are “excluding the supply of special tests” [schools] months ago, ”Zients said.

Meanwhile, the White House is working to mass-send 500 million rapid tests to homes that the president promised Americans more than three weeks ago.

Down O’Connell, assistant secretary of health and public services for preparation and response, said at a Senate hearing on Tuesday that the Biden administration had contracted only $ 50 million of the $ 50 million test kit.

“We are in the process of purchasing 500 million tests that every American home can order and ship directly to their home. We have completed four contracts so far, conducted 50 million tests and are in the process of conducting additional tests in the next few days, ”O’Connell said.

On January 8, 2022, the staff of the Miami-Dade Public Library System will distribute Covid-19 home test kits in Miami, Florida.
Employees of the Miami-Dade Public Library System are distributing COVID-19 home rapid test kits on January 8, 2022 in Miami, Florida.

“We expect the first tests to take place later this month and the remaining tests within the next 60 days,” he added.

The administration has yet to launch a website for people to request quick tests, and it is unclear whether these tests will reach homes in a timely manner to counter the fast-spreading Omicron option.

The White House reportedly rejected an expert plan in October calling for “free rapid testing for every American household holiday / new year” to combat a possible rise in COVID-19 in the winter.

On January 8, 2022, the staff of the Miami-Dade Public Library System will distribute Covid-19 home test kits in Miami, Florida.
The Biden administration is still working to pass tests on the 500 million homes it promised Americans three weeks ago.

Biden told The Post that his staff had rejected the expert plan – noting that the White House delayed the mass distribution process late last month.

On Wednesday, Zients said the White House had invested $ 10 billion in the U.S. Rescue Plan to strengthen screening tests to allow private schooling.

He did not say when U.S. schools would conduct additional tests or whether private schools would be included in the plan.

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