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.
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
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.
*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.
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.
- National Resources Supporting School COVID-19 Screening Testing [PDF – 1 page] for State Health and Education Agencies and School Districts
- The Rockefeller Foundation’s Resource Repository, including a K-12 Testing Program Playbook
- Review guidance for ELC Reopening Schools [PDF – 11 pages] funding
- Review CDC’s Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K–12 Schools
- Frequently asked questions [6 pages] about Reopening Schools funding
- Frequently asked questions about Reopening Schools funding, updated for 2022 [PDF – 4 pages]
- Keeping schools open is one of six priorities of President Biden’s Path Out of the Pandemic Action Plan
- CDC’s Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT) program works with pharmacies and other vendors to support free COVID-19 testing for people who are symptomatic or have been exposed.