The U.S. government has announced that Americans can order up to four free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery once again. This initiative comes as the flu season begins and some areas of the country are experiencing a spike in RSV cases. 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 opportunity is available to anyone who did not order a batch of tests in the previous round. 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.
Federal health officials are noting the importance of immunity from previous vaccinations and infections in helping to limit case counts. The release of free COVID-19 tests is significant as it follows the time when insurers are no longer required to cover their cost. Now, individuals typically pay around $11 out of pocket for at-home tests.
In September, the Food and Drug Administration approved updated COVID-19 vaccines targeting the XBB.1.5 descendant of the omicron variant, in an effort to enhance protection during the winter. Vaccinations are recommended for everyone age 6 months or older, but their uptake has been slow over the past three years, U.S taxpayers have invested billions of dollars in