Washington Congresswoman Kim Schrier (District 8) and Auburn Schools Superintendent Dr. Alan Spicciati visited the rapid testing pilot program site March 30 at Bowman Creek Elementary School in Auburn.
The Auburn School District is the first of eight Washington school districts to participate in a new rapid testing partnership program with Seattle Children’s Hospital. Schrier announced the partnership in February.
“Thank you to Superintendent Spicciati and Seattle Children’s for being willing to try this partnership out. We all want to make sure our children can be back into classrooms safely,” said Rep. Schrier. “We know that rapid testing, done regularly in addition to other public health measures like vaccines and masks, can make our schools some of the safest places in the country.
“It was gratifying to visit the testing site in Auburn today to see staff being tested and knowing that this will provide more peace of mind for staff, children, and their families,” Schrier said.
Joining Rep. Schrier for the visit to Bowman Creek Elementary were Principal Anne Gayman, and from Seattle Children’s Dr. Amanda Jones, Dr. Alex Chang, and Dr. Eric Tham.
The pilot program is a partnership between Seattle Children’s and 10 Washington school districts where the Hospital already has existing relationships. These school districts will have a rapid testing program for students and staff, eventually testing 6,000 staff and 12,000 students once a week.
The first school district to participate is the Auburn School District. Rep. Schrier secured 300,000 rapid tests for the program from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in December.
Earlier this month President Joe Biden announced that his Administration was going to be expanding rapid testing in schools during the Spring. The Administration is proposing using $10 billion from the recently-passed American Rescue Plan to develop a national school testing strategy to get children safely into classrooms. This type of program would likely look very similar to the one created by Seattle Children’s Hospital and Washington state schools.