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, announcing then that American households could order four free tests through a federal website, covidtests.gov. Starting Monday, households can request four additional tests, or eight tests if they had not requested any in the previous round.
Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths are far below what they were during the worst stretches of the pandemic, which has claimed the lives of about 1.1 million people in the United States.
Hospital admissions of Covid patients increased this summer, but began to decline slightly in September and have remained fairly stable in recent weeks. About 16,000 people were admitted to hospitals with the virus in the week ending Nov. 11, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Private insurers had previously been required to cover up to eight at-home tests per month, but that requirement ended in May with the expiration of the coronavirus public health emergency, making it more difficult for many Americans to get tested without paying the fee. bill.
Aside from the Postal Service program, the federal Department of Health and Human Services says it is providing more than four million tests per week to nursing homes, schools, community health centers and food banks.