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 icon[PDF – 11 pages].
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, 2022.
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.
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 jurisdiction’s school screening program.
*Iowa and Ohio are currently not using ELC Reopening Schools funding
ELC is working with jurisdictional partners to allocate 5 million rapid, point-of-care and over the counter tests per month to schools (up to 1.25 million tests per week). All ELC recipients can submit prioritized requests to CDC on a weekly basis for high-need school districts and camps serving K-12 students that can put these tests to use immediately. CDC is allocating available tests each week based on the prioritized lists of school districts from ELC recipients (64 state, local, and territorial health departments), social vulnerability index, and feasibility of immediately implementing testing to address a critical gap and sustain in-person education.
*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.
**Beginning with Round 11, the numbers of tests requested and allocated include both point-of-care and over the counter tests
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 Schoolsexternal icon, 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, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and implemented in collaboration with the Department of Defense, expands national COVID-19 testing capacity and support for K-12 schools and groups at higher risk of COVID-19. Three federally funded regional contractors provide testing materials and supplies, staff, and results reporting at no direct cost to recipients through three regional hubs:
- National Resources Supporting School COVID-19 Screening Testing pdf icon[PDF – 1 page] for State Health and Education Agencies and School Districts
- The Rockefeller Foundation’s Resource Repositoryexternal icon, including a K-12 Testing Program Playbook
- Review guidance for ELC Reopening Schools pdf icon[PDF – 11 pages] funding
- Review CDC’s Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K–12 Schools
- Frequently asked questions pdf icon[6 pages] about Reopening Schools funding
- Keeping schools open is one of six priorities of President Biden’s Path Out of the Pandemic Action Planexternal icon
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