The White House is once again making free at-home COVID-19 test kits available to each U.S. household as a perfect storm of three respiratory viruses hits the nation.
This is the fourth round of free test kits that has been made available through covidtests.gov. Each household can order four test kits. Click the Order Free At-Home Tests button, which directs you to the U.S. Postal Service website. Shipping is estimated to take seven to 12 days.
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Since the Postal Service is shipping only four free tests per address, users living in the same apartment building in different units have sometimes been rejected as duplicates. As a workaround, enter your apartment number in the "street address" field.
COVID-19 testing is critical this winter as two other respiratory illness cases also spike, causing stress on hospitals with high hospital bed utilization. Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, has had a particularly bad season, though experts say the number of cases has peaked. This year has also been one of the worst for influenza in a decade, according to the White House.
Despite news about more free at-home COVID-19 tests, the government plans to stop paying for Paxlovid, the antiviral medication, and COVID-19 vaccinations sometime next year. The price for both treatments is expected to soar for patients, making potentially life-saving treatments and vaccines out of reach for many.