COVID-19 home test kits are pictured in a store window throughout the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic within the Manhattan borough of Latest York City, Latest York, U.S., January 19, 2022.
Carlo Allegri | Reuters
The Biden administration on Monday said it’s offering one other round of free at-home Covid tests to U.S. households ahead of the vacation season, when more people gather indoors and the virus typically spreads at higher levels.
Starting Monday, Americans can use COVIDtests.gov to request 4 free tests. Those that haven’t ordered any tests this fall can now place two orders for a complete of eight tests, based on the web site.
The administration in September allowed people to request an initial round of 4 free tests through the positioning, resuming a federal program that temporarily shut down during a political fight over Covid funding.
At-home tests are a critical tool to guard against the virus, especially now that lab PCR tests — the normal approach to detecting Covid — have turn out to be dearer and fewer accessible for the reason that government ended the general public health emergency in May.
But demand for tests, together with Covid vaccines and coverings, has plummeted during the last yr as cases and public concern concerning the virus dwindled from earlier within the pandemic.
Only a small share of Americans seem like apprehensive about Covid disrupting their holiday plans this fall and winter.
About three in 10 Americans said they’re concerned they may get seriously sick from Covid or will spread the virus to people near them over the vacations, based on a poll released Friday by health policy research organization KFF.
Lower than half were concerned concerning the potential for an additional Covid surge throughout the winter, which has occurred in previous years of the pandemic, the poll said.
Still, signs of a winter Covid wave are emerging. Greater than 16,200 Americans were hospitalized within the week ending Nov. 11, based on the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That marks an 8.6% increase from the previous week.
The variety of hospitalizations remains to be lower than the nearly 24,000 recorded throughout the same time last yr.