Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., a world leader in serving science has announced the launch of a nationwide testing program designed to support U.S. efforts to return to in-person classroom instruction. This program, developed in partnership with Color Health, Inc., a California-based leader in distributed healthcare services, along with leading providers of laboratory testing, aims to support schools as the Biden Administration provides $10 billion in funding to conduct COVID-19 testing.
The Biden Administration has identified COVID-19 testing in schools as a critical proactive step in the recovery from the pandemic and has proposed a two-pronged strategy that includes both funding for states to administer testing programs and a soon-to-be-awarded federal hub and spoke based program to expand capacity for schools and underserved populations.
Since the start of the pandemic, Thermo Fisher has supported governments and laboratory partners with COVID-19 testing ramp-up, including equipping a network of labs with capacity to deliver accurate PCR-based individual and pooled testing. Testing programs for this initiative can include PCR-based testing as well as rapid antigen, depending on the school and/or district.
Thermo Fisher's partnership with Color draws on Color's experience serving school districts, major employers, universities, and public health departments to provide critical testing programs. Color's scaled easy-to-use school testing model will provide both convenient sample collection and a seamless result-reporting platform.
"The $10 billion allocation is a critical first step to returning students to school in April, and what happens next is even more critical – helping schools take advantage," said Mark Stevenson, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific. "This program is possible because our industry has already established a strong testing infrastructure during the pandemic and now it's time to make that available where it's needed most urgently."
According to Othman Laraki, chief executive officer of Color, "As we have seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most daunting obstacles has been the ability to effectively address the logistical and accessibility challenges for the last mile of healthcare. This initiative allows us to link individuals in need of COVID-19 tests with available lab capacity near their school or home."
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