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Mayor Bowser Announces Additional COVID-19 Testing Supports for DC Students and School Staff

Monday, January 10, 2022

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant announced that the District will provide several additional testing resources for students and staff at DC Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter school students.

Expansion of Test to Return

For the remainder of the 2021-22 school year, the District will distribute rapid antigen tests to all DCPS and public charter schools to be used before returning from any break that is at least a full school week. For DCPS, that would apply to the February break from February 21 to February 25 and Spring Breaks from April 11 to April 15. LEAs would have the flexibility to implement a proof of negative testing requirement at their discretion.

Weekly Distribution of Rapid Tests to All Staff and Pre-K and Kindergarten Students

Beginning this week, the District will distribute one rapid antigen test kit per week to all registered pre-K and kindergarten students in DCPS and public charter schools. Tests will be available by Friday of each week, to be administered before returning on Monday. This program will continue through at least the winter surge of cases. All DCPS staff and public charter school staff will also receive one rapid antigen test kit per week.

Test to Stay Program

Planning is currently underway to launch a new Test to Stay model in schools, based on CDC guidelines. The Test to Stay Program will allow students who are identified as close contacts and not fully vaccinated the ability to take a series of rapid COVID-19 tests during their isolation period. If these tests return negative, the student can remain in school for in-person learning. Test to Stay will first launch in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Schools with smaller pilots for select Middle and High Schools.