Approximately 9,000 teachers and staff have signed up for a new testing program to provide rapid COVID-19 testing. According to a Tuesday release from the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services(MDHHS), the department is moving forward with plans to offer a voluntary COVID-19 testing program that will provide weekly tests to educators. The MI Safe Testing Program will achieve Governor Whitmer’s stated goal of having all Michigan School districts offer an in-person learning option for students by March 1st.

Although high school players aren’t currently allowed out on the field, the rapid antigen testing program is modeled after a successful pilot project that tested student-athletes and coaches who were participating in fall sport, playoffs. More than 8,300 people were tested and sixty-nine asymptomatic COVID-19 cases were identified, which otherwise might have been missed.

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On Tuesday, MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel and chief deputy director for health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, signed orders authorizing testing in non-healthcare settings such as schools.

“Testing is the way we are going to be able to identify cases of COVID-19 and reduce the spread of this virus. Signing this order today helps make sure we are eliminating as many barriers to testing as possible,” Khaldun said. “We encourage everyone who has symptoms of COVID-19, or who has been exposed, to be tested. Everyone has a role to play in ending this pandemic.”

The COVID-19 rapid antigen testing program began on Tuesday. The program is providing testing supplies to schools at no cost and is for both public and private schools.

 

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