Montpelier, VT – Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced a plan to send 80,000 at-home COVID-19 test kits to parents so students can be tested prior to returning to school after the holiday break.

Vermont Secretary of Education Dan French said the tests are key to keeping COVID-19 out of schools after the holidays. Parents will be responsible for administering the tests. Secretary French acknowledges that will mean some positive COVID-19 cases will not be reported.

“This will result in a loss of some of the data that we have come used to from our testing so we are evaluating to what extent that we will be able maintain the weekly reporting of cases in school,” Secretary French said.

Schools will continue with COVID testing but will be shifting from PCR tests to the faster ‘LAMP’ testing.

“LAMP tests are confirmable tests like PCR, but they provide results much more quickly since they are administered on site at schools,” Secretary French said.

He also also expects schools will have to close in the coming week due to staff shortages but the new CDC guidance will help.

“The recent changes in the CDC guidance on reducing the number of days required for quarantine and isolation will help with both student attendance and staff availability,” Secretary French said.

Vermont continues to lead the nation when it comes to child vaccination with 55% of kids ages 5 to 11 have at least one dose. Human Services Secretary Mike Smith said nearly 80% of Vermonters ages 5 and up are considered fully vaccinated and more than half of the state’s population has a booster shot.