Thanks to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, schools across the Midwest can enroll in a free COVID-19 testing program.
The newly launched Midwest Coordination Center (https://www.testedandprotected.org/) will pair schools with testing labs to deliver weekly screening results to schools and other organizations. The Midwest Coordination Center is managed by Battelle, which also manages the Ohio STEM Learning Network.
Testing under the program is free, including sample collection supplies and shipping materials. Providing access to easy, reliable, and rapid testing is one of several mitigation strategies that will help schools rule out COVID infections, reduce the spread of the virus and control outbreaks as well as minimize the need to quarantine students. Screening for COVID-19 can help calm fears of returning to school in person, especially for those families, students, and teachers who are not able to be vaccinated.
Students will be able to self-administer the test while a trained school staff person is present. The school staff will send the swabs to a laboratory for testing later that day. Test results will be returned the next day. They will be posted on a safe website. Parents/guardians will be able to create their own accounts on the results website. Schools also will be notified of results.
To learn more about the program, visit https://www.testedandprotected.org/. To get started, complete the Registration Interest Form here. Our staff will be reaching out to districts and schools within the coming weeks.
Organization with more questions should contact Ondrea Harreld, Ohio lead for Midwest Coordination Center, at [email protected].