By CBS Baltimore Staff

ANNAPOLIS, M.d. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan announced on Wednesday that Maryland conducted more than one million free COVID-19 tests for Maryland students and staff since August.

The tests came as part of a statewide K-12 testing program funded by the CDC to help schools transition back into traditional learning.

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“After enduring nearly a year of distance learning, we owe it to our Maryland students to do everything we can to help keep them safely in the classroom,” said Gov. Hogan. “We all want to keep our kids safe, and this critical testing program is helping us do so.”

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Participating schools in the testing program could opt into diagnostic screening, regular surveillance testing or both

Hogan also announced on Tuesday that Maryland is providing $30 million for schools to purchase testing kits.

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“Nothing is more important than the safety of our students and school staff, which is why MDH has made K-12 COVID-19 testing a priority since last year to support safe, in-person learning,” MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader said. “Each week we see an increase in the numbers of students and teachers choosing to participate in their school’s testing program, and that continued vigilance will help keep more people safe this winter.”

CBS Baltimore Staff