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HHS announces $10 billion to expand coronavirus testing in schools

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U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also publishes new guidelines on the proper use of surveillance testing in schools and other community settings, HHS announced.

The agency said the funds, passed as part of the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief law, “will be able to be deployed quickly” and will help schools test teachers, students and staff who were exposed to the virus and will help identify asymptomatic cases of the virus to prevent the virus from spreading further in schools.

“Covid-19 testing is critical to saving lives and restoring economic activity,” the agency’s acting secretary, Norris Cochran, said in a statement. “As part of the Biden administration’s national strategy, HHS will continue to expand our ability to test the people and places that need it most, so that we can prevent the transmission of the virus and defeat the pandemic.”

President Joe Biden the goal has been set to reopen most U.S. schools for face-to-face learning in their first 100 days in office. Earlier this month, Biden urged states to prioritize teachers and school staff to receive at least one shot in late March and used his authority to prioritize teacher vaccinations through the federal supply of vaccines to pharmacies.

The CDC will also spend an additional $ 2.252 billion to increase testing and other mitigation measures in underserved populations, which will include grants to the departments of public health and funding to improve data collection efforts.

The $ 1.9 trillion U.S. rescue plan provided a large amount of cash for coronavirus testing in the U.S., devoting a total of $ 47.8 billion.

Biden’s efforts to reopen schools have progressed progressively over the past month, amid messaging stumbles, pressure from Republicans to move faster and disputes between some teachers ’unions and school districts across the country.

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