PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new COVID initiative by the White House focused on requiring federal employees to be vaccinated also shifts emphasis to keeping schools safe. President Joe Biden is expected to make that announcement in the coming days as part of a six-point plan.
The Biden administration has already committed $130 billion of the American Rescue Plan funding to reopening schools across the country.READ MORE: Woman Killed After Shooting Inside Kensington Home, Police Say
Dr. Cameron Webb, the senior White House Policy Advisor for Equity, is part of the administration’s COVID response team. He told CBS3 President Biden will be calling on states to adopt a vaccine requirement for school employees.
“What the president is looking to do is to lean into all the best science to date,” Dr. Webb said, adding that it’s all “to make sure we can keep all of our schools open.”READ MORE: Cars Towed, Scrapped In Wilmington Leads To Federal Lawsuit
Requiring vaccination is just one element of the president’s extensive plan. Another major part is getting students and staff regularly tested.
“Testing is critical,” he said, adding, “The ability to test is going to be really important in any setting.”
The Philadelphia School District is already ahead, providing weekly testing for staff. Dr. Webb praised the initiative and said they want to expand that to schools across the country.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Parking Authority Launching Pilot Program Targeting Illegally Parked Cars In Bike, Bus Lanes
Dr. Webb said testing to vaccinate children is happening right now with one-third doses to see if there are any side effects for those 12-years-old and younger.