Ordering At-Home Covid-19 Tests Made Easy
US households now have the opportunity to order up to four at-home Covid-19 tests completely free of cost through the US government. This initiative aims to make testing more accessible and convenient for individuals across the country. Starting from November 27, residents can submit orders for these individual rapid antigen tests via Covidtests.gov. For those without internet access, ordering can be done by calling 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).
The US government previously suspended the rapid test distribution program in May but reopened it in September. In light of this, residents who had not previously ordered tests since the program resumed can now place two separate orders, totaling eight tests, according to USPS.
At-Home Rapid Antigen Testing
These at-home Covid-19 tests are designed to be easily administered by individuals in the comfort of their own homes. They can be utilized regardless of whether someone is displaying symptoms of the virus. It is important to note that although some test expiration dates may have passed, the US Food and Drug Administration has extended their validity.
When to Test and the CDC Recommendations
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends testing for individuals experiencing any Covid-19-like symptoms such as a sore throat, runny nose, loss of smell or taste, or fever. Additionally, people may choose to get tested before attending large events, such as concerts or conferences, especially if they are not up-to-date on their vaccines. Testing not only helps determine the necessity for antiviral treatment but also assists in proper flu and Covid-19 medication administration.
Current Covid-19 and Flu Trends
According to the CDC, Covid-19 hospital admissions and emergency department visits have started to rise again after a brief downturn. Flu-like illness outpatient visits are lower compared to last year but higher in comparison to the previous four seasons. The CDC predicts that the number of hospitalizations related to respiratory viruses this season will be similar to those of the previous year.
Seasonal flu activity is also increasing across most parts of the country, with states such as New Mexico, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina experiencing high flu-like activity. As of now, there have been approximately 780,000 flu-related illnesses, 8,000 hospitalizations, and 490 deaths this season, according to estimates from the CDC.
The Importance of Vaccination
CDC data reveals that more than a third of adults and nearly a third of children have received their flu shots this year. In terms of the Covid-19 vaccine, 14% of adults and 5% of children have been vaccinated. Among adults aged 60 and above, 14% have taken the new RSV vaccine.
1. How can I order the at-home Covid-19 tests?
You can place an order for the at-home Covid-19 tests by visiting Covidtests.gov or by calling 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) if you do not have internet access.
2. How many tests can I order?
Each household is eligible to order up to four tests. If you haven’t placed an order since the program reopened, you can place two separate orders, which will provide a total of eight tests.
3. Can I use the at-home Covid-19 tests even if I don’t have symptoms?
Yes, the at-home Covid-19 tests can be used regardless of whether you have symptoms.
4. When should I consider getting tested?
The CDC recommends testing if you experience any Covid-19-like symptoms or if you plan to attend a large event, especially if you are not up-to-date on your vaccines.
5. Are the at-home tests still effective if they are expired?
Yes, the US Food and Drug Administration has extended the expiration dates for these at-home Covid-19 tests, so they should still work effectively even if the dates on the tests have passed.