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December 6
1864 - Actor William S. Hart born in Newburgh, New York [Hart Index]
Wm. S. Hart


SACRAMENTO – The Biden-Harris Administration has approved California’s request to use Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) funding to pay for voluntary COVID-19 testing for low-income students covered by the program, further supporting schools in underserved communities to reopen for in-person instruction.

Governor Gavin Newsom made the announcement Wednesday, on the heels of announcing a $6.6 billion school reopening agreement with the Legislature.

“I am grateful to our federal partners for approving our request to expand testing for low-income students to ensure schools can reopen safely in underserved neighborhoods that are bearing the brunt of pandemic hardships,” Newsom said. “Our top priority is getting students back in the classroom to not only meet their learning needs but also their mental health and social-emotional needs.”

Given the unprecedented nature of the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, on December 24, 2020, the California Department of Health Care Services requested permission, using the federal demonstration authority, to provide COVID-19 testing in schools for Medi-Cal children in grades transitional kindergarten through 12.

This request to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has been approved retroactive to February 1, 2021, and will continue for 60 days after the end of the federal public health emergency.

Medi‐Cal is the primary health care system for more than half of the state’s population under the age of 20. For schools electing to implement COVID-19 testing as an additional mitigation layer – especially those serving communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic – the state and federal governments will now shoulder much of the costs.

Medi-Cal provides coverage to 50-55 percent of school-aged children in California.

“As a pediatrician and father, I know schools are a vital place for our kids where in-person learning has a positive impact on their overall health and well-being,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “Further leveraging our state Medicaid program to increase access to testing will not only help us to reopen schools but also ensure that testing becomes even more accessible for underserved students.”

The governor, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon on Monday announced a $6.6 billion budget package to accelerate the safe return to in-person instruction across California and empower schools to immediately expand academic, mental health, and social-emotional supports, including over the summer.

The package builds on the state’s ongoing efforts to accelerate safe school reopenings, which have included the delivery of three months of PPE and safety supplies to all schools at no cost, direct support to more than 1,000 schools in 41 counties to implement COVID-19 testing and direct technical assistance to over 300 school districts.

For more information about safe returns to in-person instruction, visit schools.covid19.ca.gov.

For more information about testing in schools, visit testing.covid19.ca.gov/school-testing.

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Dec 3, 2021
City Invites Community to Central Park Buildout Groundbreaking
The Santa Clarita City Council will take a major step toward enhancing one of the city of Santa Clarita’s landmark amenities by holding a groundbreaking ceremony for the Central Park Buildout project on Monday, Dec. 6.
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Friday COVID Roundup: Cases Among People Experiencing Homelessness Declines for 2nd Month in a Row
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials confirmed Friday 17 new deaths and 1,942 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 39,281 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday, Dec 3, 2021
Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees Undergoing Redistricting
The Board of Trustees of the Santa Clarita Community College District is undergoing the redistricting process, and community members will have the opportunity to comment on revised trustee area boundaries at two upcoming public hearings.
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