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Biden to push schools to set up routine COVID testing for kids, staff

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(WASHINGTON) — The Biden administration is launching a new effort with The Rockefeller Foundation to encourage schools to set up surveillance COVID testing for students and staff, ABC News has learned.

The effort, which will be led by the Education Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, comes seven months after President Joe Biden pledged $10 billion for testing by schools.

The idea is that school districts around the country, particularly elementary schools with large populations of unvaccinated children, would routinely test kids, teachers and other staff for COVID-19 to prevent the spread of the virus.

But some states have rejected their share of the $10 billion in federal funds for COVID-19 testing in schools while others have been painfully slow in actually implementing virus mitigation plans.

A survey of the nation’s 100 largest school districts from the Center on Reinventing Public Education found that less than 15% of those schools are utilizing federal funding dollars to establish COVID-19 in-school screening programs.

Meanwhile, pediatric COVID cases increased this summer with many school districts reporting mass quarantines at the beginning of the school year.

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