In a much-awaited move, the Biden administration’s at-home testing program is making a comeback, offering four free COVID-19 tests to Americans. This campaign is timely given that COVID-19 hospitalisations have been steadily rising across the country and have just surpassed 20,000 cases for the first time since March, according to CDC stands for the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Due to the alarming increase of COVID-19 hospitalisations, the program’s restart is of utmost importance.
. According to the CDC’s COVID data tracker, the week of Sept. 10-16 witnessed 2.7% of all deaths in the U.S. being attributed to COVID-19, marking a 12.5% increase from the previous week.
A Vital Lifeline
Many people’s lives will be saved by the government’s at-home testing program’s restart. After the expiration of the public health emergency in May, numerous insurers ceased covering the costs associated with COVID tests. Consequently, the government’s testing program remained unavailable since June 1.
The Biden Administration’s Efforts
The Biden administration, in its commitment to combat the pandemic, has already provided over 755 million at-home tests through its collaboration with the United States Postal Service (USPS).
How to Obtain COVID-19 Test Kits from USPS
Starting Monday, Sept. 25, households across the country can place orders for four free tests via COVIDTests.gov, a portal that directs individuals to the official U.S. Postal Service website. These tests come at no expense and will be shipped free of charge. Shipping is set to commence during the week of Oct. 2, as per USPS guidelines.
Accessibility for All
For those who may face difficulties ordering through the website, an alternative option exists in the form of a government hotline. Dial 1-800-232-0233 or use TTY 1-888-720-7489 for assistance.
A Brief Look Back
The at-home COVID test program initially debuted in January 2022, offering four free tests per residential address, regardless of household size. The expansions took place in March and May, and they were terminated in September. Subsequently, it was revived in December but halted operations on May 31.
It’s worth noting that the tests being distributed will be capable of detecting the latest COVID-19 variants currently in circulation. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has ensured that these tests remain valid for use until the end of 2023. The tests will come with instructions on how to confirm the extended expiration dates.
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has also taken steps to extend the expiration dates of several over-the-counter COVID tests, granting them additional months of viability beyond the initial “use by” date. To access a comprehensive list of approved COVID-19 tests and their updated expiration dates, please visit the FDA website.
Finally, the government’s at-home testing program’s reactivation denotes a proactive strategy for combating the current COVID-19 outbreak. It not only makes free testing available but also makes sure that existing tests continue to be effective against new varieties, which is a glimmer of optimism in these trying times.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Who is eligible to receive the free COVID-19 tests from the government?
All Americans are eligible to receive four free COVID-19 tests through the government’s at-home testing program.
- When can I start ordering the free COVID test kits from USPS?
You can start placing orders for the free tests on Monday, Sept. 25, and they will be shipped free of charge starting the week of Oct. 2.
- How long are these free COVID-19 tests valid for?
The tests remain valid for use until the end of 2023, as ensured by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.
- Are there alternative ways to order the free tests if I face difficulties with the website?
Yes, there is a government hotline available for assistance. You can dial 1-800-232-0233 or use TTY 1-888-720-7489.
- Where can I find information about the expiration dates of over-the-counter COVID-19 tests with FDA extensions?
You can access a comprehensive list of approved COVID-19 tests and their updated expiration dates on the FDA website.
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