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Business / Tuesday, 21 November 2023 22:09

"As the holiday season approaches, the Biden administration has announced a new initiative to provide additional rounds of free at-home Covid tests to U.S. households. In an effort to curb the potential spread of the virus during indoor gatherings, Americans can now request four free tests per household through COVIDtests.gov, starting Monday. For those who haven't ordered tests this fall, the website allows two orders, totaling eight tests per household.

This move comes after a September initiative that initially offered four free tests, reigniting a federal program that had temporarily halted during a political dispute over Covid funding. At-home tests have become a crucial tool in the ongoing battle against the virus, particularly as traditional lab PCR tests have become more expensive and less accessible since the government lifted the public health emergency in May.

Despite a decline in demand for tests, vaccines, and treatments over the past year, signs of a potential winter Covid wave are emerging. The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates a notable increase, with over 16,200 Americans hospitalized in the week ending Nov. 11, marking an 8.6% rise from the previous week.

While a recent poll by the health policy research organization KFF suggests that only about 3 in 10 Americans are concerned about getting seriously sick from Covid or spreading the virus during the holidays, it's important to remain vigilant as the winter months approach. The administration's proactive approach to provide free at-home tests aims to empower individuals to take necessary precautions during this festive season."

"In conclusion, the Biden administration's decision to offer an additional round of free at-home Covid tests underscores a proactive approach to safeguarding public health during the upcoming holiday season. As cases of Covid and hospitalizations show signs of a potential winter surge, providing households with access to testing becomes increasingly vital. While public concern about the virus may have diminished, the administration's commitment to making testing widely available serves as a crucial tool in mitigating the spread of the virus. As individuals prepare for festive gatherings, the availability of free at-home tests offers a practical means of ensuring a safer and more secure holiday season for all."