In SummaryAs COVID-19 cases surge in Washington, D.C., all students and staff of public schools are required to submit negative test results before returning on Tuesday.
District of Columbia Public Schools is requiring all students and staff to produce confirmation of a negative COVID-19 test result before returning to school on Wednesday, January 5, in order to encourage and support a safe return to school.
DCPS will offer free rapid antigen tests available on Monday, January 3 and Tuesday, January 4. While families are allowed to utilize their own methods, any test taken before January 4 will not be accepted and negative results must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. the same day to an internet portal.
“The health and safety of our community remain paramount as we prepare to welcome students and staff back to our schools,” Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee said in a statement. “As we have throughout the COVID-19 health crisis, DCPS will continue to follow the guidance of public health authorities and utilize all resources available to maintain in-person learning opportunities for our students.”
Families are encouraged to continue to monitoring their children for COVID-19 symptoms even if they test negative. If they receive positive test results, they’re asked to first contact their school’s main office then follow DC Health’s and their child’s healthcare provider’s isolation instructions.
In the case of a child exhibiting any symptoms or coming in close contact with someone who has tested positive, regardless of a negative result, they should be kept at home.
Despite relatively high vaccination rates, Washington, D.C. is currently witnessing a large pandemic spike and is the country’s highest-risk location for COVID-19 infection, according to NPR.
The Washington Post reported the omicron COVID-19 variant has rendered D.C. one of the worst coronavirus hot spots, with a much greater number of illnesses per capita than any other state, as well as a sharper spike in hospitalizations.