Just days after beginning a new Covid-19 testing regimen, some schools have already exhausted their supplies of rapid antigen tests.
Since the beginning of the school year, state officials have maintained a list of Covid-19 cases in K-12 schools. That list is no longer being updated.
State officials told public schools this week to begin the transition to a new Covid-19 testing system. But officials said independent schools should continue to do what they are doing.
The Orange Southwest school district received a “large shipment” of rapid Covid-19 tests Monday, the superintendent said. By Wednesday, only 14 remained.
Amid Covid-19 outbreaks, staffing shortages and behavioral problems, Vermont’s students are likely out of class more than ever before.
The moves, outlined by Secretary of Education Dan French in a Tuesday email to local officials, come as the state is working toward an overhaul of its Covid-19 testing procedures in schools.
In a Friday evening email, Secretary of Education Dan French told local school officials to halt contact tracing and PCR testing ahead of a formal announcement next week.
Amid record-shattering Covid-19 case counts after the holiday break, Vermont schools are buckling under the strain of keeping students in class.
A bill sponsored by Sen. Brian Campion, D-Bennington, would eliminate religious exemptions for children requiring vaccinations in schools. It faces an uncertain future in the Statehouse.
State officials intended to distribute 87,000 rapid Covid test kits for students before they returned to school after the holiday break. Only about half made it to parents.
Under new guidance expected in early 2022, officials said they plan to recommend that parents — not school staff — administer Covid-19 tests to students. But few other details on the plan were available.
Liz Cady, a member of the Essex-Westford school board, prompted criticism for an essay that drew parallels between the discourse around unvaccinated people and Jews during World War II.
With a federal mandate snarled in litigation, only about a third of Vermont’s districts and supervisory unions require their staff to be vaccinated or else tested weekly.
State officials say Vermont could see 600 to 1,000 new Covid-19 cases a day after the holidays, threatening health care and education systems that are already stretched thin.