"Free Covid tests Government: Order Four More Now"
The U.S. government is sending out four free Covid tests to households starting Nov. 27. Orders can be placed online.
The federal government has announced that each U.S. household can now order four more free Covid tests, starting the week of Nov. 27. This comes as the holiday season begins, a time when public health experts expect cases of Covid, flu, colds, and respiratory syncytial virus to surge.
Orders can be placed online at Covid.gov, with no health insurance information required. The tests may arrive with expiration dates that have passed, but the FDA has extended the dates for most approved tests. The CDC has reported that Covid hospitalizations and deaths both rose by around 9% during the week ending Nov. 11, while the test positivity rate stayed flat at just over 8% of PCR tests coming back positive.
According to Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease physician, and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, testing is beneficial to protect loved ones and to distinguish an infection from other respiratory viruses. Seasonal increases in the spread of flu and RSV have already been detected, according to the CDC.
At-home tests will show a double line only when there's "enough virus to trigger a positive," so if someone feels sick but tests negative, it's advised to wait a couple of days and then test again. If you test positive, CDC guidelines suggest isolating for five days, whether or not symptoms develop.