NEW YORK – The White House announced on Wednesday that the US Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and the US Department of Education are partnering to distribute free over-the-counter COVID-19 tests to schools nationwide.
The rapid antigen tests will be available to all traditional and charter local education agencies across the country, the White House said in a statement. School districts can distribute the tests to students, staff, parents, and school communities "with the expectation that millions of tests will be sent out in the coming months," the administration noted.
"Making free COVID-19 tests available to schools this year ensures that students and staff can test throughout the winter months," Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O'Connell said in a statement. "The partnership announced today leverages ASPR's ongoing test distribution programs to reach school communities through ED's close relationship to school districts — helping keep communities healthy."
More than 1.6 billion COVID-19 tests have been sent out to households, schools, long-term care facilities, community health centers, and food banks through ASPR's distribution channels over the past two years or so, with more than 4 million tests distributed each week, the White House said. Earlier this month, ASPR opened another round of free test orders to provide households with four more free rapid antigen COVID-19 tests.