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DENVER (KDVR) — One week into the program and 599 Colorado schools are already signing up for free COVID school testing. Students can get paid weekly to test through an incentive program.

Students, staff and teachers can go to the school testing site and get a free and voluntary COVID screening test, regardless of vaccination status.

Sarah Hamma, with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said that school testing is another layer in the state’s COVID prevention strategy.

“It helps us detect infections early and get ahead of outbreaks, and by doing this we hope to keep schools open and kids in the classroom,” Hamma said.

Plus, there are cash incentives. Students can receive $25 for their first COVID test and $10 for each test after that, with a maximum of one test per week.

The students will receive a gift card with their total once a month.

“We hope that the financial incentive will be that little extra bit for students to want to participate every week,” she said.

Testing could be extra helpful for students who are too young to get vaccinated.

“I think in the state we’ve seen that incentives can definitely help,” Hamma said.

The program is federally funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services. The state received $173 million to start the program.

For more information about the program, visit the state’s website.