Amid growing concerns about the potential resurgence of the COVID-19 virus during the holiday season and the ongoing cold and flu season, the U.S. Postal Service has announced a new round of free COVID-19 tests available for order from the federal government.
Millions of Free COVID-19 Tests Distributed, Expiry Concerns Addressed
In a recent report published by the US News, in November 20, 20223, these free COVID-19 tests come as part of a proactive effort by health officials to tackle the expected increase in cases, with households now eligible to place two orders simultaneously, totaling eight free COVID tests. The free COVID-19 tests will be shipped for free starting the week of Nov. 27, offering households a valuable tool to monitor and manage their health during a critical period.
Since the inception of this season’s initiative, approximately 56 million free COVID-19 tests have been delivered, reaching around 14 million American households. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) emphasizes that some test kits may display expired dates, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the expiration dates for many home COVID tests.
To prevent the inadvertent disposal of still-effective free COVID-19 tests, COVID.gov and USPS websites advise individuals to cross-reference the expiration date on their tests with the FDA’s posted dates. This expansion of free testing not only addresses the immediate need for COVID detection but also assures the public about the reliability of these crucial resources.
Free COVID-19 Tests: Testing, Treatment, and Ongoing Precautions
According to the report featured by NBC News, as the winter season unfolds, in relation to free COVID-19 tests, health officials are closely monitoring rising COVID data, anticipating an increase in cases. ER visits and hospitalizations associated with COVID infections have seen a slight uptick nationwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID-19 still dominates ER visits for viral respiratory illnesses, surpassing trends related to flu and RSV.
In light of these developments, officials stress the importance of continued precautionary measures, urging Americans to use free COVID-19 tests when symptomatic and emphasizing the need for isolation upon a positive result. Beyond testing, officials recommend other preventive measures, including mask-wearing and staying updated on vaccines, to curb the spread of the virus and safeguard public health during holiday gatherings.