The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will soon allow schools across the country to order free COVID-19 at-home testing kits, according to Axios.
"Our schools are so important in our communities. They reach both children, their families, parents, teachers, and staff, and we think they're an important avenue to make sure that free tests are available," Dawn O'Connell, assistant secretary for preparedness and response, told Axios.
The Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response has hundreds of millions of tests in its stockpile that it is looking to unload before they expire.
The agency, which is part of the HHS, will work with the Department of Education to distribute the tests to any schools in the country that want them. The schools will then be able to distribute the tests to families that need them.
"I could imagine a situation where perhaps a fifth-grade classroom, it has a COVID-positive student and then they send everyone home with a COVID test in the backpack from that fifth-grade class," O'Connell explained.
Officials did not say if there would be any limit to the number of tests schools can request.
In September, the government relaunched a program allowing families to order free at-home COVID tests. Every household is eligible to receive four additional testing kits free of charge. You can request your free kits by going to covidtests.gov.