National

Biden administration to send $10B to states

President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 pandemic during a prime-time address from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is sending $10 billion to states to expand COVID-19 testing in schools, as part of its push to get more schools open five days a week before the end of the school year.

The funding is meant to help schools test symptomatic and exposed individuals, as well as establish screening testing for students, teachers and staff members to identify asymptomatic individuals in the community.

The Department of Health and Human Services is announcing the spending Wednesday, funded by the newly passed $1.9 trillion virus relief bill.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also unveiling new guidance Wednesday for how different settings like schools and non-healthcare workplaces should best use available screening testing to catch asymptomatic infections.

Biden has faced challenges meeting his promise of opening a majority of K-8 schools for in-person learning by the end of his first 100 days. This month he directed states to prioritize vaccinating teachers and announced he was directing federal resources toward vaccinating educators in March.

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