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Schools to oversee COVID home testing for students | Public Service News

New York’s more than 800 school districts will separately oversee the state’s program to provide each student with home-based COVID-19 test kits so that students can continue their education in person after vacation ends next week, Governor Kathy Hochul said.

The state will continue to send up to 1 million in-home COVID tests to county emergency officials and 400,000 tests to stock each state-run mass vaccination site with tests to help reduce demand at home. middle of the winter wave.

“We get 500,000 here, another million here and we take them out, so they will be there,” Hochul said.

In early December, the state ordered 500,000 rapid test kits – with two tests per kit, for a total of 1 million tests in total – to be distributed to all county health departments outside New York with masks. Additional N95. The supplies were distributed according to the population, according to representatives of the governor’s office.

“The test kits arrived, except for a few, which took longer due to shipping delays,” according to the governor’s office on Wednesday evening.

Counties where testing is delayed have been notified and are expected to receive their allocation of 500,000 kits by last Thursday.

Test kits will be distributed as they arrive with priority school districts, issued primarily through Cooperative Education Services Boards, or BOCES, according to the governor’s office.

Distribution will be prioritized by counties with the highest case rates.

At least 3 million test kits are expected to arrive this week with additional kits allocated as shipments arrive.

A state-run online portal for New Yorkers to order COVID home test kits will go live in the coming days.

New York school superintendents and administrators have the choice of administering thousands of 15-minute COVID tests at school or sending the self-test kits home with children when they return to class on. Monday January 3, after the end of the holidays. .

Authorities will send 2 million home coronavirus test kits to all school districts across the state from 37 million kits to be delivered to the state to help fight the winter wave.

School districts will manage it as they see it best, ”Hochul said during a COVID-19 briefing at Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh. “… the bottom line is that our Test to Stay program says we want kids to go back to school.”

The governor strongly opposes further school or business closures due to coronavirus outbreaks as new infections continue to break daily records.

New cases of COVID-19 are expected to continue to increase in the days following the Christmas holidays and New Years and New Years celebrations. Home testing kits for New York City students will ensure children can stay in school or return home quickly and safely in case a classmate tests positive.

Hochul spoke with about 500 New York City superintendents on a program conference call Tuesday to help them design strategies for children to continue learning in the classroom with another wave of the pandemic.

“There are different strategies you can use and one would be when the kids go back to school make sure they are tested,” she said, adding that others would send the tests to the school. house with children to use in case of epidemic.

When a student is negative, they can resume learning in person instead of requiring an entire class to return to distance education for a 10 day quarantine period, which impacts education .

“It’s so difficult for parents to get back to work, how they organize childcare and it’s so confusing for the kids and the teachers too,” Hochul said. “We therefore want to fully institute a Test to Stay program. … To put [the tests] in their backpack if someone tests positive in their classroom, let the parents test it the next morning and send it back if it is negative.

The program will be in effect by the end of the week before students return to school on Monday, Hochul said.

Home testing will also allow healthcare workers to administer the COVID vaccine at state-run sites.

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