How you can get new free COVID tests now that they are available again
COVID-19 may no longer be on most Americans’ minds, but a new batch of free testing kits are available just ahead of the holiday season.
The new round of free tests became available on Nov. 20, with every “home in the U.S. is eligible to order an additional 4 free at-home tests… you may place two orders for a total of eight tests. Your order of COVID tests is completely free – you won’t even pay for shipping,” according to the Department of Health and Human Services’ COVID.gov website.
In order to place an order, individuals must submit their name and address through the United States Postal Service website.
The form warns individuals that some tests may show “expired” dates on the box, but the Food and Drug Administration has extended the dates. To determine if the dates have been extended, look at the FDA website for more instructions.
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The news of free COVID tests comes after 18,119 COVID-19 hospitalizations were reported between Nov. 12 and Nov. 18, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
It also comes as fewer Americans are expected to be boosted for the holidays, with six in 10 adults previously vaccinated against COVID-19 not receiving booster shots in the fall, with around half of them not planning to get another booster, Axios reported.
The current dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States is called HV.1, consisting of 31% of documented cases, according to CDC data on Nov. 25. The strain became dominant in September and is a subvariant of the omicron variant, Today reported. Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Dr. William Schaffner told Today, “You can almost think of HV.1 as a grandchild of omicron.”
Second in its dominance is EG, consisting of 13% of COVID-19 cases in the United States, CDC data said.
New COVID-19 testing kit orders should begin to ship on Monday, Nov. 27. If you still have not ordered new free tests, place your orders on the United States Postal Service website at the link here.