The U.S. government has announced that Americans can order up to four free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery once again, starting Monday. This initiative comes as flu season begins and some areas of the country are experiencing a spike in RSV cases, and is designed to help people prepare for potential increases in virus transmission during the winter holiday season. Individuals can secure up to eight tests from covidtests.gov, with delivery provided by the U.S. Postal Service at no charge.
The distribution of free COVID-19 tests follows the time when insurers are no longer required to cover their cost, which typically costs individuals around $11 out of pocket for at-home tests. Additionally, federal health officials are noting the importance of immunity from previous vaccinations and infections in helping to limit case counts, especially with updated COVID-19 vaccines targeting the XBB.1.5 descendant of the omicron variant that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in September in an effort to enhance protection during the winter months.
Vaccinations are recommended for everyone age 6 months or older but their uptake has been slow despite billions of dollars invested by U.S taxpayers over the past three years into development of COVID-19 tests, vaccines, and treatments underscoring government’s commitment to combatting pandemic