US Government Restarts Supply Of Free COVID Tests As Hospitalizations Increase
COVID hospitalizations in the US have started to pick up pace in the last few weeks, according to data from the Centre’s for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In an effort to limit the spread of the virus over the winter months, the government has restarted its free at-home COVID testing service.
People can order four tests per household. The tests can be taken at home and used regardless of whether someone has symptoms. They should be good through the end of the year.
There will be instructions on how people can verify extended test expiration dates as the FDA previously issued guidance suggesting the shelf life is longer than the original packaging states.
Tests Expected To Detect A New Strain Of The Virus
According to the CDC’s COVID-19 tracker, there were 20,538 hospitalizations from September 3 – 9, about an 8% increase from the previous week.
With hospitalisations rising across the country, the tests are expected to help detect a new strain of the virus, which has now been reported in multiple US states.
Last week, the Biden administration revealed investments of $600 million for 12 domestic test manufacturers. These companies are expected to deliver a supply of about 200 million tests.
Citizens are requested to go to the website COVIDtests.gov to order the free at-home tests. Those who cannot order online can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).
US Earlier Delivered 755 Million Free COVID Tests
People may want to test before they are going to be a part of a large event. People should also test after they have come into close contact with someone with the virus.
The US government says it will continue to make additional COVID tests available to Americans without insurance through several community outreach programmes.
The free service ended earlier this year to conserve supplies. When the public health emergency ended in May, a number of insurance companies stopped covering the costs of tests.
As part of the testing programme, the Biden administration said it previously distributed 755 million free kits through the United States Postal Service.