After a summer of spiking COVID-19 cases, the Department of Health and Human Services will continue to mail out free tests to help ease the financial burden of buying kits out of pocket.
Starting September 25, you can request up to four rapid tests per household through COVID.org. This batch is good through the end of 2023. The HHS also posted a list of tests with extended expiration dates, so check to see if any you have are still usable.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports cases have been on the rise again since July, only two months after the public health emergency was declared over in May.
“We know, if past is prologue, it’ll circulate to a higher degree and spread, cases will go up in the fall and winter seasons,” said Dawn O’Connell, assistant secretary of preparedness and response for the HHS. “Anticipating that that would be true again, or something similar, we want to make sure the American people have these tools.”
Hospitals have seen a 7.7% increase in COVID-related admissions and a 4.3% increase in deaths. HHS stopped sending out free tests in May and is resuming efforts due to a reemergence of the virus.
A $600 million investment is geared towards creating and distributing 200 million rapid home tests.
“These critical investments will strengthen our nation’s production levels of domestic at-home COVID-19 rapid tests and help mitigate the spread of the virus,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, according to Engadget.
The HHS has distributed more than 755 million tests to two-thirds of U.S. households, including 310 million homes in underserved communities. Visit the HRSA health center, Test to Treat, or an ICATT location to find low-cost or free COVID-19 tests at an outreach center near you. The CDC also recommends getting a booster shot every six months.