ELC Reopening Schools: Support for COVID-19 Screening Testing to Reopen and Keep Schools Operating Safely

In April 2021, ELC awarded $10 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on behalf of CDC to 64 recipients of the ELC Reopening Schools supplement [PDF – 12 pages].

In September 2022, ELC issued supplemental guidance for the ELC Reopening Schools award, which aligns with the updated COVID-19 testing guidelines and the specific Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools and Early Care and Education Programs.

ELC Reopening Schools: An Overview

The ELC Reopening Schools supplement supports COVID-19 screening testing and other mitigation activities in K–12 schools for teachers, staff, and students to reopen and keep schools open safely for in-person instruction. Funding is available through July 31, 2023.

What is COVID-19 screening testing?

Screening testing identifies people infected with COVID-19, including those with or without symptoms. In K–12 schools, screening testing helps identify and isolate cases or clusters of illness quickly, which can act as an early warning system to help schools and communities identify COVID-19 cases early and stop an outbreak before it starts. Screening testing is an important tool in safely keeping schools open.

School Screening Implementation Plans: Testing Programs, Role of Health Departments, and More

As part of the ELC Reopening Schools award, ELC recipients submit school testing plans and monthly screening testing volume data for the 2021–2022 school year. These school testing plans include details about how screening testing will be conducted, who will be tested, partners they are coordinating with, and how they are leveraging ELC funding to support activities. Click anywhere on the map below to learn about a recipient’s school screening program.

*Iowa and Florida are not using ELC Reopening Schools funding

Rapid Testing Support: Distributing Testing Supplies

ELC is working with jurisdictional partners to allocate rapid, point-of-care and over the counter tests (up to 5 million tests per month) to school districts, early care and education programs (ECEs), and camps serving K-12 students and ECE children.

Note: As of June 27, 2022, CDC will update the allocation table on a monthly basis.

As of  January 2023

*There are a number of reasons that allocations might not match requests including duplicate orders, schools not ready to implement testing, and the number of requests exceeding supply for a given week.

Download as PDF (Print Only) [PDF – 2 pages]

Resources for Launching and Maintaining School Screening Testing Program

CDC has developed a school testing toolkit with customizable communication materials jurisdictions can use to encourage participation in COVID-19 testing programs in schools.

Open & Safe Schools, developed by the Shah Family Foundation, CDC, and other federal agencies, provides public health and school leaders with step-by-step toolkits, federal funding options, and vendors they can use to implement and maintain COVID-19 testing initiatives in schools.

Operation Expanded Testing (OpET) concluded testing December 31, 2022. OpET regional testing hubs conducted more than 8.4 million tests across 51 jurisdictions (states and territories) to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Additional resources: