The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has announced that Americans can now order an additional round of four free COVID-19 tests in preparation for the upcoming winter season. This move comes as health officials anticipate a surge in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks.
Starting from the week of November 27th, individuals can order the four additional tests for free either online at covid.gov/tests or through the USPS webpage. This opportunity is available to households that did not order their first batch of four tests earlier this fall, allowing them to place two orders from the USPS for a total of eight free tests.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been responsible for supplying these tests from its stockpile of previously-purchased kits. So far this season, approximately 56 million tests have been delivered, fulfilling the requests of around 14 million American households.
Health officials at the federal level have been urging Americans to undergo COVID-19 testing as part of their efforts to reduce the transmission risk during the holiday season. The availability of these free tests helps individuals determine whether they should seek out Pfizer’s Paxlovid, a drug treatment that can mitigate severe symptoms. As Paxlovid transitions to the private market this month, COVID-19 testing can help people with informed decision-making.
With the expectation of an increase in COVID-19 cases this winter, health authorities have been closely monitoring data related to the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported a slight rise in emergency department visits and hospitalizations nationwide, indicating a potential shift in COVID-19 trends.
While flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) trends are also on the rise, COVID-19 continues to represent the largest share of emergency department visits for viral respiratory illnesses across the country.
It is crucial for individuals to continue practicing preventive measures such as wearing masks and getting vaccinated to protect themselves and others. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, during a recent discussion with public health organizations, emphasized the importance of adhering to safety protocols. He personally experienced the significance of mask-wearing when traveling with his 90-year-old mother.
As the winter season approaches, the availability of additional free COVID-19 tests is a valuable resource for Americans to proactively protect themselves and their loved ones. By taking advantage of these testing opportunities, individuals can contribute to curbing the spread of the virus and ensuring a safer and healthier winter season for all.
1. How can I order the free COVID-19 tests?
You can order the tests online at covid.gov/tests or through the USPS webpage.
2. Who is eligible to order the additional free tests?
Households that have not yet ordered their first batch of four free tests can now place two orders from the USPS, totaling eight free rapid antigen COVID-19 tests.
3. How many tests have been delivered so far this season?
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 56 million tests have been delivered, fulfilling the requests of around 14 million American households.
4. Why is COVID-19 testing important during the holiday season?
Health officials recommend COVID-19 testing as a means to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, especially during the holiday season when people gather in close proximity.
5. How can COVID-19 testing help with treatment decisions?
By undergoing COVID-19 testing, individuals can determine whether they should seek out Pfizer’s Paxlovid, a drug treatment that can help prevent more severe symptoms.