The United States government has announced that individuals can order up to four free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery once again. This opportunity is available to anyone who did not order a batch of tests in the previous round. Starting Monday, individuals can secure up to eight tests from covidtests.gov, with delivery provided by the U.S. Postal Service at no charge.
This initiative comes as flu season begins and some areas of the country are experiencing a spike in RSV cases, making it important for people to be prepared for potential increases in virus transmission during the winter holiday season. Although COVID-19 hospitalizations were on the rise this fall, they have since remained steady.
The distribution of free COVID-19 tests is happening just in time for the winter holiday season, when cases typically surge. With the U.S. Postal Service ensuring free delivery, this opportunity is designed to help people prepare for potential increases in virus transmission and keep themselves and their loved ones safe during this time of year. Federal health officials are also emphasizing the importance of immunity from previous vaccinations and infections in helping to limit case counts.
In recent months, insurers have no longer been required to cover the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests, leaving many individuals paying around $11 out of pocket for each test. However, now that these tests are being offered for free through covidtests.gov, more people will be able to get tested without breaking the bank or potentially going without testing altogether due to cost concerns. This initiative is significant as it underscores the government’s commitment to combatting the pandemic and ensuring that all Americans have access to the resources they need to stay healthy during these trying times.
Additionally, in September 2022, the Food and Drug Administration approved updated COVID-19 vaccines targeting XBB variant descendant (XBB), which was found in multiple regions across Europe and North America.
Overall, this latest effort from the US government represents an important step forward in continuing to combat COVID-19 and ensure that everyone has access to testing resources during flu season and beyond.