Virginia United States Representatives Abigail Spanberger, Jennifer Wexton and Elaine Luria asked Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin to expand the state’s “Test to Stay” COVID-19 testing protocols to help keep schools open and students in the classroom.
More than $2.1 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan was provided for Virginia’s schools.
“Additionally, 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 2021 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,” a release said.
In a letter to the governor-elect, the three representatives asked Youngkin to use federal funding to support and expand the Test to Stay programs, “as they have a proven ability to protect the health and safety of Virginia’s students, teachers, administrators, and school staff.”
“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,” said the three representatives in the letter. “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.
A spokesperson for Youngkin’s office said they have received the letter and are reviewing it.