The U.S. government is offering up to four free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery once again, starting from Monday. This initiative is open to anyone who did not order a batch of tests in the previous round. Individuals can secure up to eight tests from covidtests.gov, with delivery provided by the U.S. Postal Service at no charge. With flu season beginning and some areas experiencing a spike in RSV cases, this opportunity comes at the right time. Although COVID-19 hospitalizations were on the rise in fall, they have since remained steady.
The distribution of free COVID-19 tests is happening just before the winter holiday season when cases typically surge. Federal health officials are emphasizing the importance of immunity from previous vaccinations and infections in limiting case counts, along with the U.S. Postal Service ensuring free delivery, this initiative is designed to help people prepare for potential increases in virus transmission during the holiday season.
The release of free COVID-19 tests follows a period when insurers were no longer required to cover their cost, leading individuals to pay around $11 out of pocket for at-home tests. In September, the Food and Drug Administration approved updated COVID-19 vaccines targeting the XBB.1.5 descendant of the omicron variant, which aims to enhance protection during winter months when cases are expected to surge again due to low uptake among people over 6 months old as recommended for vaccination but it’s not been widely adopted yet .
Over the past three years, U.S taxpayers have invested billions of dollars in developing COVID-19 tests, vaccines and treatments, underscoring government commitment towards combating pandemic and ensuring that citizens have access to necessary resources during this challenging time