The federal government is ready to give away a half-billion FREE rapid COVID-19 test kits – via a new federal website launching Wednesday. The website will launch amid a massive surge of new COVID cases caused by the rapidly spreading omicron variant
The White House said: “Testing is an important tool to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19; public health experts, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommend that Americans use at-home tests if they begin to have any symptoms, at least five days after coming in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 OR are gathering indoors with a group of individuals at risk of severe disease or that may be unvaccinated.”
The website, COVIDTests.gov, will allow each household to order four FREE tests.
You will be asked for name and address and you can also provide your email address if you want status updates on your shipping. Tests will be shipped FREE of charge via the U.S. Post Office; all of those orders in the continental US will be sent through First Class Package Service, with all shipments to Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. Territories being sent through Priority Mail.
Tests will typically be shipped within seven to twelve days of ordering.
Also, starting January 15th private health insurance companies are required to cover at-home COVID tests. Insurance companies and health plans are required to cover eight FREE at-home tests per individual, per month.
According to the CDC, if you test positive for COVID-19 you should:
- Isolate for at least five days. You can end isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved (Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation). Day 0 is your first day of symptoms.
- If you test positive for COVID-19 and never develop symptoms, isolate for at least 5 days and wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for an additional 5 days. Day 0 is the day the sample was collected for a positive test result.
- Wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for 5 additional days after the end of your 5-day isolation period. Take additional precautions on days 6-10, such as avoiding travel and situations where you will come in contact with individuals at high risk for severe disease. If you are unable to wear a mask when around others, you should continue to isolate for 10 days.
- Contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you are more likely to get very sick because of being an older adult or having underlying medical conditions or if your symptoms get worse.