DC is now providing weekly rapid antigen test kits to all registered pre-K and kindergarten students and staff, as well as other additional testing resources for DC Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools.
The new policy will be in place starting this week, according to an announcement that came from DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant on Monday.
Students and staff will be able to pick up their antigen test kits every week by Friday. The tests should be administered before students return to school on Monday.
The test distribution for schools will continue through at least the winter surge of cases. It would apply to the February break — between February 21 and February 25 — and Spring Breaks — April 11 to April 15 for DCPS schools.
Local education agencies have the option to implement a proof of negative testing requirement.
The DC government is also working on a new Test to Stay model in schools, based on CDC guidelines. As per the model, a student determined to be a close contact and not fully vaccinated will be able to take a series of rapid COVID-19 tests during their isolation period. The student will be allowed to continue in-person learning in class with a negative test result.
The program will initially launch in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Schools with smaller pilots for select Middle and High Schools.