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Senator Collins Applauds CDC’s New Guidance on “Test-to-Stay” That Will Help More Students Remain in the Classroom

Washington, D.C.—Following a push led by U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidance today on COVID-19 testing that will allow more children to safely continue to learn in-person in in the classroom.


Senator Collins, a member of the Senate Health Committee, has repeatedly pressed top U.S. public health officials to consider the “test-to-stay” approach.  This method allows asymptomatic students who test negative for COVID-19 to remain in school rather than quarantining after another student or a staff member has tested positive for the virus.  At a Health Committee hearing last month, Senator Collins urged CDC Director Rochelle Walensky to issue guidance on test-to-say.  Senator Collins previously pressed the Secretary of Education to consider this method in September.


“Many parents, teachers, and pediatricians have spoken with me about the learning loss, emotional problems, and behavioral issues that have occurred among children due to their not being in school,” said Senator Collins.  “Test-to-stay is a proven, successful strategy that can eliminate the need for highly disruptive quarantines of school children that have had a massive, detrimental impact on their studies and their health.  Although this updated guidance from the CDC is long overdue, today’s announcement is welcome news and will help keep more children safely in the classroom and prevent further learning loss.”


A study in the peer-reviewed British medical journal The Lancet found that case rates were not significantly higher at schools that allowed close contacts of infected students or staff members to remain in class with daily testing than schools that required students to quarantine at home.  A report on Los Angeles County schools released by the CDC today found that student case rates were lower in test-to-stay schools compared with schools that did not adopt test to stay.  Los Angeles County schools that did not participate in test-to-stay lost an estimated 92,455 school days.  A separate report on 90 K-12 schools in Illinois found that test-to-stay saved an estimated 8,152 in-person learning days.



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