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Spanberger, Wexton, Luria call on Youngkin to support school COVID-19 testing

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Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA-10), and Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) are calling on Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin to expand Virginia’s Test to Stay COVID-19 school testing protocols.

“When used as part of a layered prevention strategy, Test to Stay guidelines can allow students who would otherwise have to quarantine at home to continue in-person learning if they test negative for COVID-19 at least twice during a seven-day period after exposure,” the congresswomen, all mothers of school-age children, wrote in a letter to Youngkin, who will take office on Jan. 15.

“When combined with other prevention strategies such as promoting vaccinations, consistent use of masks indoors, social distancing, and staying home when sick, Test to Stay practices can be a vital tool to ensure schools safely remain open,” they wrote.

The American Rescue Plan provided more than $2.1 billion for Virginia schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief program. The law allocated approximately $257 million to support Virginia’s COVID-19 testing programs through the Epidemiology and Lab Capacity Reopening Schools program — and the Virginia General Assembly in August approved an additional $244 million of American Rescue Plan funding to support COVID-19 testing in Virginia schools.

This support has provided free COVID-19 testing for dozens of school districts and thousands of students across Virginia.

This month, the CDC endorsed Test to Stay protocols, which allow students who are exposed to COVID-19 but test negative to remain in school instead of quarantining at home.

Spanberger, Wexton and Luria, in their letter, urged Youngkin “to keep policies in place that allow schools to use American Rescue Plan funding to promote known prevention and mitigation strategies, as well as develop a strategy to expand Test to Stay programs to schools across the Commonwealth.”

“We hope your administration will prioritize federal funding to expand this program, so it is available for all schools that wish to participate,” the congresswomen wrote.

Click here to read the letter.

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