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IDPH adds partnership to expand K-12 school COVID testing

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COVID test

(WSIL) -- To help increase capacity and facilitate faster access to COVID-19 testing in schools across the state, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has partnered with the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Midwest COVID-19 Testing Coordination Center (MCC) to provide testing to all public and private schools that are now seeking to establish a testing program.

This partnership will add testing capacity, expedite the testing onboarding process, and tap into additional federal funding under the HHS “Operation Expanded Testing” program.

“I am delighted to see this level of interest for establishing testing as a layer of protection in our schools as we fight COVID-19 on all fronts,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of IDPH.  “Even as we work continuously to administer vaccines to more people, we are supporting schools in their work to administer and improve their testing programs. The ability to test and rapidly identify infected individuals prevents spread, keeps students safe, and maximizes in-person learning.” 

Schools will follow MCC’s self-collection protocol and ship the samples to a member of MCC’s lab network.  Shipping is covered by MCC and SHIELD Illinois will reimburse districts $8 per test to cover the cost for schools to collect samples and implement a testing program.

Schools looking for more information or to sign up for MCC testing should go here.

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