As more school districts commit to offering in-person learning for most or all of their students, many are grappling with the costs and benefits of conducting routine COVID-19 testing as part of their comprehensive prevention approach, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) recent guidance for K−12 schools. School districts now have access to tremendous resources to stand up testing in K−12 settings, including the recent allocation of $10 billion for school testing in the American Rescue Plan, as well as implementation guidance such as The Rockefeller Foundation’s K−12 National Testing Action Program (NTAP) and Playbook for Educators and Leaders. However, many may need more data on the impact of testing to make an informed decision.
As many school districts work to make routine testing a reality, Mathematica, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Duke Margolis Health Policy Center partnered to create an interactive online dashboard that allows users to explore the benefits and drawbacks of routine testing in their schools by weighing the health, education, and resource outcomes associated with different testing strategies. The results presented assume that schools abide by other CDC-recommended guidelines (such as requiring masks and maintaining at least three feet of distance), and that any routine testing program would be layered on top of these other important COVID-19 mitigation measures.
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