(Fwrd Axis) — With the Omicron variant still sweeping through the country and overwhelming hospitals, the Biden administration announced Wednesday that it would increase the supply of COVID-19 tests for schools in order to keep them open for in-person learning.
The White House said it will distribute 5 million tests per month while vowing to send an additional 5 million PCR tests available through a Department of Health and Human Services program. The news Wednesday comes as the supply of COVID tests struggles to keep up with demand from the American people, resulting in long lines stretching for miles.
“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 White House said in a fact sheet provided to the media with details of the plan. “We know how to keep students and staff safely in school—including through vaccinations and boosters, implementing universal indoor masking, maintaining physical distancing, improving ventilation, and performing COVID-19 screening testing.”
Students are returning from winter break with cases surging across the country, forcing colleges to go back to remote learning or change their schedules to deal with the high number of infections. Several Texas colleges changed their schedules from in-person to remote learning or pushed back their start date.
Republicans have slammed Democrats over the issue, saying they haven’t done enough to keep students in the classroom.
The White House said Wednesday the Education Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will help schools to set up testing programs, including getting access to federal funds.
The administration recently announced it would send millions of at-home tests to Americans who request one, free of charge. They can be ordered through a government website and Americans will be reimbursed by their insurance company.