As the holiday season approaches, the Biden administration is ensuring that Americans have access to free at-home coronavirus tests. In September, the administration revitalized a dormant program, allowing households to order four free tests through the federal website, covidtests.gov. Starting this week, households have the opportunity to order an additional four tests, bringing the total to eight if they haven’t already placed an order.
The revival of this program comes at a time when hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 have decreased significantly compared to the worst periods of the pandemic. Although the virus has tragically claimed the lives of approximately 1.1 million people in the United States, hospital admissions have been on a decline since September, with about 16,000 people admitted to hospitals with the virus in the week ending November 11, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Previously, private insurers were mandated to cover up to eight at-home tests per month. However, this requirement expired in May when the public health emergency for the coronavirus ended. Consequently, many Americans have faced financial barriers to accessing testing. The revival of the free at-home testing program addresses this issue, ensuring that individuals can easily obtain the tests they need to protect themselves and their loved ones during the holiday season.
In addition to the Postal Service program, the federal Department of Health and Human Services has taken a comprehensive approach to testing distribution. Over four million tests per week are being provided to nursing homes, schools, community health centers, and food banks. This effort aims to protect vulnerable populations, increase community safety, and facilitate a swift response to outbreaks.
Access to free at-home Covid-19 tests is crucial in mitigating the spread of the virus and preventing further surges in cases. As the holiday season approaches, it is essential for individuals to remain vigilant, prioritize the safety of themselves and others, and utilize the resources available to keep the community healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. How can households order free at-home Covid-19 tests?
Households can order free at-home Covid-19 tests through the federal website, covidtests.gov.
2. How many free at-home tests can households order?
Currently, households can order a total of four free at-home tests. If they haven’t ordered any in the previous round, they can order an additional four, bringing the total to eight.
3. Are hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 still a concern?
While hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 have decreased significantly compared to the worst periods of the pandemic, it is still a concern. Individuals should remain cautious and prioritize their safety.
4. What other efforts are being made to distribute Covid-19 tests?
In addition to the Postal Service program, the federal Department of Health and Human Services is providing over four million tests per week to nursing homes, schools, community health centers, and food banks. This aims to protect vulnerable populations and ensure a swift response to outbreaks.