Better Get Your Order in for 4 More Free COVID Tests

After Friday, government will no longer accept orders for the latest round of free tests
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 21, 2023 2:30 AM CST
Updated Mar 8, 2024 2:30 AM CST
You Can Get 4 More Free COVID Tests
FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests indicating a positive result are photographed in New York, April 5, 2023.   (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)
UPDATE Mar 8, 2024 2:30 AM CST

If you haven't ordered your latest round of free COVID tests and you want them, do it today: The United States Postal Service will stop accepting orders for the at-home test kits after Friday, the Guardian reports. The Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services, says long-term care facilities, food banks, health centers, and schools will continue to receive free tests, and that they could again be distributed to the general public at a later date.

Nov 21, 2023 2:30 AM CST

Americans can order more free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery, the AP reports. The US government is offering to send another round of four at-home virus tests ahead of the typical surge in cases during the winter holiday season. Anyone who did not order a batch of four COVID-19 tests in September can secure up to eight of them this time around starting Monday at The US Postal Service will deliver them for free.

The government is mailing out the coronavirus tests as the flu season kicks off and a spike in RSV cases has been reported in some spots around the country. Hospitalizations for COVID-19, which has killed more than 1 million people in the United States, were on the rise this fall but have stayed steady in recent weeks. Immunity from previous vaccinations and infections has kept case counts lower compared with other years.

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The new release of free COVID-19 nasal swab tests also comes ahead of the first winter since the pandemic started that insurers are no longer required to cover the cost of them. On average, at-home tests now cost $11 out of pocket, according to an analysis by the nonprofit health research firm KFF. The Food and Drug Administration also approved updated COVID-19 vaccines in September in the hopes of revving up protection for Americans this winter. The shots target an omicron descendant named XBB.1.5, replacing older vaccines that targeted the original coronavirus strain and a much earlier omicron version. (Shots are recommended for everyone age 6 months or older, but the numbers are "abysmal.")

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