Operation ET testing extended through December 31st, 2022.

Now Serving K-8 Schools & Underserved Communities

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PerkinElmer was selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense to manage Operation Expanded Testing (Operation ET) in the West, with a focus on bringing in-person learning safely back to the K-8 school environment through routine COVID-19 testing, as well as to increase testing for underserved communities and at-risk congregate settings.

This testing is funded through the federal government and is offered at no cost to participating schools and organizations. PerkinElmer’s coordination center is playing a pivotal role in implementing the COVID-19 testing strategy to help K-8 schools reopen, and scale up testing in underserved populations and congregate settings across eight states and several pacific islands, representing approximately 66 million people.  This project also offers testing in underserved communities, including youth summer programs before the school year begins.

Learn which federal resources are available to support school COVID-19 screening testing.

This testing is being funded through the federal government and will be offered at no cost to participating schools and organizations.

HHS funded testing of K-8 schools or underserved communities in the West region

By expanding COVID-19 testing in the West Hub, PerkinElmer will deliver major public health benefits to this region, including:

  • Keeping schools open for in-person learning:
    As states closed schools to in-person instruction at various points during 2020 and 2021, this led to a wide-scale learning loss which has disproportionally impacted disadvantaged families (1, 2).
  • Reducing community spread:
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 50% of infections are likely contracted from someone that is asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic (3). A routine screening testing program, which regularly tests people without symptoms or known exposures, is a crucial tool to reduce “silent” spread of the virus and can protect the entire community.
  • Ensuring access to COVID-19 testing for underserved populations:
    Some families in underserved communities may be unable to seek regular testing.
  • Allowing parents to return to the workforce:
    The US is currently experiencing a severe labor shortage as employers cannot find enough workers to fulfill their demand (4). Reopening schools and keeping them open will help parents who were required to stay home with their children during the pandemic return to the workforce (5).


  1. Auger, K. A., et al. (2021) Association Between Statewide School Closure and COVID-19 Incidence and Mortality in the US. JAMA. 2020;324(9):859-870. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.14348.
  2. ASU Mag. (2020) 22 states have closed school statewide because of the coronavirus.
  3. Johansson, M. A., Quandelacy, T. M., Kada S., et al. (2021) SARS-CoV-2 Transmission From People Without COVID-19 Symptoms. JAMA Netw Open. 4(1):e2035057. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.35057
  4. NY Times (2021) The Jobs Report: The Boom That Wasn’t
  5. WSJ (2021) Millions Are Unemployed. Why Can’t Companies Find Workers?
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