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​June 23, 2021

A message to our school community partners sent on behalf of Pennsylvania's Department of Health:

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) has received federal funding to support COVID-19 testing in K-12 schools as another step to safely reopen schools and keep them open for in-person learning

Regular COVID-19 testing in schools can help prevent large outbreaks and keep schools open, help communities feel more confident that in-person learning is safe, and help protect communities by preventing further spread of COVID-19. As such, this free, voluntary COVID-19 testing program will be available to all K-12 schools in Pennsylvania, apart from schools in Philadelphia County. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) received their own federal funding to implement a similar testing program.

The COVID-19 school testing program is expected to include several options for testing, including rapid tests, at no cost to the schools or families for the entire 2021-22 school year. Various levels of staffing support will be available as part of the program to assist with the logistics, planning, and operations of any school-based testing.

A more formal announcement, along with additional information, will be released in the coming weeks. However, schools may want to consider this opportunity as they develop their health and safety plans for the 2021-22 school year.

As soon as the free, voluntary school testing program plan is finalized, the DOH will provide additional details and instructions on how schools can elect to participate.

For further information regarding keeping schools safe, please access the online resources below.

Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Prevention | CDC

Open and Safe Schools

COVID-19 Educational Testing – Shah Family Foundation