The District of Columbia Public Schools system will require staff and students to submit a negative COVID-19 test when they return from spring break.
This will mark the fourth time in this school year that the school district has asked students and staff to submit a negative COVID-19 test, reported local Fox 5 News.
“All DCPS students are expected to produce proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered within 24 hours prior to their return to school on Monday, April 24, 2023,” said the district website. “All students who return after that date will also be expected to show proof of a negative test before their return.”
Anyone testing positive will need to undergo a 10-day quarantine prior to being allowed back into school, said the district.
The district says it distributed rapid antigen tests on the last day of school before the break, to be used on Sunday. Students were expected to upload their test results in either PDF or photo form to a district website.
Lewis Ferebee, the school district chancellor, sent out a reminder notice via Twitter.
“Reminder: To ensure a safe return to school tomorrow, all students and staff must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test,” Ferebee tweeted. “Visit http://DCPSstrong.com/testing for information on how to upload test results and more. Thank you for keeping our community healthy!”
Despite being viewed nearly one million times, the tweet has gained only 22 likes, and has generally been criticized by commentators.
One Twitter user blasted the school district, sarcastically saying that 77% of the district’s students couldn’t even read the notice.
Fox 5 News reported that in the week prior to spring break, district data indicates that there were only nine positive cases of COVID-19. That compares to last year, when there were over 100 cases in the week prior to the spring break.
Last week, President Joe Biden signed a resolution passed by both the House and the Senate ending the COVID-19 emergency.
The resolution came seven months after Biden verbally declared the pandemic to be over and after widespread criticism that the government should’ve acted sooner to end emergency measures.
Even the Centers for Disease Control no longer recommends routine testing of K-12 students, said Fox 5 News.
When returning from the last winter break, less than one percent of the students tested positive, with less than two percent of the staff testing positive, said the local TV news station.