2nd Round Of Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests Launched Before The Holiday
The Biden administration has initiated a second round of free at-home tests available through Covidtests.gov.
In anticipation of a potential surge in COVID-19 cases during the winter months, the Biden administration has initiated a second round of free at-home tests available through Covidtests.gov, The Hill reported.
As of Nov. 20, the website began accepting new orders, allowing households to request up to four tests. Those who did not previously order in September are eligible for eight tests. The U.S. government, through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has distributed over 1.6 billion free COVID-19 tests to the American public.
HHS has provided over 4 million free tests weekly directly to various facilities, including long-term care facilities, schools, community health centers, and food banks. The direct mailing program, temporarily halted at the end of May to ensure supply availability, was reinstated after HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra confirmed supplies were replenished in September.
Recent market prices for at-home rapid COVID-19 tests average around $11 per test, according to a health policy research group analysis by KFF.
These new test distributions align with recent data indicating that COVID-19 hospitalizations, deaths, and emergency department visits have stabilized after a surge earlier in the fall. While new vaccines became available in September, many Americans have expressed reluctance to get them. According to a KFF survey, half of all adults nationally indicated they would not get the latest COVID-19 vaccine, citing concerns about virus contraction.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that just under 15 percent of adults have received an updated shot, although tracking accuracy is limited. As the Biden administration strives to curb the potential winter increase in cases—which historically is a bad time for the flu—the availability of free at-home tests aims to empower individuals to monitor and manage their health during these uncertain times.