According to Reuters news agency on November 20, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will begin providing new free COVID-19 test kits across the country this week.
Accordingly, households that ordered four free test kits through COVIDTests.gov during the supply last September will be allowed to order four more kits.
The total number of free testing kits per household received across all rounds is four.
The US government is stepping up the provision of free testing kits before the holiday season, starting with Thanksgiving on November 23 and ending on New Year’s Eve.
This is the time when traveling by public transport and gathering in closed spaces tend to increase the number of infections.
According to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of weekly hospitalizations for COVID-19 increased to more than 16,000 on November 11, up from nearly 15,000 last week. .
However, this number is still lower than nearly 24,000 cases at the same time last year.
Due to lack of budget, US President Joe Biden’s administration suspended the program providing free testing in August 2022 after starting to implement it in January of the same year.
Authorities then resumed the program when the number of infections increased sharply in December 2022 and continued to allow registration for free testing on September 25 of this year.
The money spent on these free testing kits comes from the COVID-19 supplemental budget in the “American Rescue Plan” program.
An HHS spokesperson said President Biden’s administration has provided more than 1.6 billion free tests.
This number includes tests sent to people’s homes when ordered through the website, as well as long-term care facilities, schools, community health centers and food banks.
HHS and the US Department of Education are planning to expand the program to distribute test kits to schools across the country in the coming weeks, according to Reuters.