Foxx, Jacobs Call on CDC to Encourage National Test-To-Stay Option for U.S.
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 10, 2021
Tags: PreK-12 Education
Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-NY) led a letter with Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT) and Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) calling for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide guidance on a test-to-stay option for unvaccinated students exposed to COVID-19.
“We are approaching two years of virtual learning, and many students are still being kept out of the classroom. Thousands of students are being forced to stay home from school, even after testing negative for COVID—all because of stringent CDC quarantining guidelines that research has shown are unnecessary. Continuing to pull healthy students out of the classroom will exacerbate learning loss and put these kids even further behind. Embracing a test-to-stay approach would be better for our kids and better for the future of our country. We all want to keep students safe, but these overly restrictive measures pose a real threat to the academic future of our students,” Republican Leader Virginia Foxx said.
“For the past two years, we have seen the impact of virtual and distance learning on our students’ educational progress, and social and emotional well-being. Every day spent out of the classroom negatively impacts the development of our students and burdens parents with logistical concerns,” Jacobs said. “Healthy students who have tested negative for COVID-19 should be allowed to stay in the classroom and continue in-person learning. Recently, New York State has allowed school districts to decide to implement test-to-stay, but CDC guidance is critical to giving these districts more direction. It is time for the CDC to follow the science, drop overburdensome blanket quarantine rules, and implement common-sense guidance that allows healthy students to remain in the classroom.”
Currently, the CDC maintains blanket guidance stating any unvaccinated individual exposed to COVID-19 must quarantine regardless of test results. Under a test-to-stay model, close contacts of a COVID positive student are given daily rapid tests instead of quarantining. As long as they continue to test negative, they stay in school. Recent data from Erie and Niagara counties show that only about 1.5% of close contacts in schools end up testing positive for COVID-19. Additionally, Utah and Massachusetts have both successfully implemented test-to-stay models.
Read the full text of the letter here.