Just in time for the holiday season, the Biden administration is offering Americans a new round of free at-home coronavirus tests through the Postal Service.
The administration revived the dormant program in September, then announcing that households could request four free tests through a federal website. covidtests.gov. Starting Monday, households may request four additional tests – or eight tests if they did not request any in the previous round.
Hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 are far lower than during the worst of the pandemic, which has killed more than 1.1 million people in the United States.
Hospitalizations of Covid patients rose this summer, but began to decline slightly in September and have remained fairly steady in recent weeks. About 16,000 people were hospitalized with the virus in the week ending November. 11, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Private insurers were previously required to cover up to eight at-home tests per month, but that requirement ended in May as the coronavirus public health emergency ended, making it difficult for many Americans to get tests without footing the bill.
Separate from the Postal Service program, the federal Department of Health and Human Services says it is providing more than four million tests weekly to long-term care facilities, schools, community health centers and food banks.
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