Demand for COVID-19 testing continues for students going back to school

As many students prepare to return to the classroom after winter break and Monday's snowstorm, there has been a rush of people wanting to get tested for COVID-19.

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This trend has been common since the omicron variant started spreading rapidly in December, leading to high demand for testing, especially during the holiday season.

The demand for testing so great, Children’s National is sending emails to families asking them to only come to the hospital for a COVID test if the child is symptomatic. They say they’ve been inundated with families trying to get tests before their child goes back to school.

At-home rapid tests have been hard to come by and while most districts aren't requiring a negative test to return to school, D.C. Public Schools are.

READ MORE: DCPS students, staff required to test negative for COVID-19 before returning to school from break

DCPS held a rapid test pickup at schools on Tuesday afternoon and will again from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

"It is kind of tough, because you do want them to be safe, but you also don’t want to jeopardize their education," says Shantell Brown who was picking up a test for a relative. "So it’s like, yes, we want to send them to school, but as long as you and the school have, like, a good connection in how the environment is, I feel like everything will be okay."


All tests for DCPS students have to be uploaded by 4 p.m. on Wednesday. Chancellor Lewis Ferebee says they’re working with the contractor on getting this done.