As questions persist over whether the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is peaking, or already has, leading to a decline in infections — President Joe Biden has announced a new federal program that provides four free COVID-19 tests per household.
Tests are available for every residential address in the United States, including U.S. Territories and overseas military and diplomatic addresses (APO/FPO/DPO), according to the government’s website.
To order the tests, go to COVIDTESTS.gov.
To place an order, all you need is your name and residential address. No ID, credit card, or health insurance information is required. You also may share your email address to get updates on your order.
All tests distributed as part of this program are FDA-authorized at-home rapid antigen tests, and instructions will be provided on how to use them.
The website also provides information on when you should use the tests.
It reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you take an at-home test:
- If you begin having COVID-19 symptoms like fever, sore throat, runny nose, or loss of taste or smell
- (Or) At least five days after you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19
- (Or) When you’re going to gather with a group of people, especially those who are at risk of severe disease or may not be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines
Those who don’t have access to the internet or need additional support placing an order, can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).
Meanwhile, according to a CDC interpretive summary for Jan. 21, the current seven-day moving average of daily new cases across the nation was 744,616, a decrease of 5% compared with the previous seven-day moving average of 783,922.
A total of 68,671,563 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the U.S., as of Jan. 19, the report says.
“Currently two variants, Omicron and Delta, are classified as Variants of Concern (VOC) in the United States,” the summary says.
The national proportion of Omicron, as of Jan. 15, was put at 99.5% with 0.5% for Delta.
As of Jan. 19, a total of 856,288 COVID-19 deaths has been reported in the United States.
Florida’s community transmission rate is considered high, according to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker.
The number of cases in Florida, according to the seven-day rolling average, was 262,773, with a positivity rate exceeding 25%. The seven-day rolling average for new hospital admissions was 1,863 and the number of deaths, 75.
In Hillsborough County, the seven-day change, showed 18,267 cases, a positivity rate exceeding 26%; there were 1,297 new hospital admissions and 12 deaths.
In Pasco County, the seven-day change, showed 7,098 cases, with a positivity rate exceeding 30%; There were 332 new hospital admissions and 10 deaths.
Meanwhile, Pasco County Schools’ report for Jan. 21, 2022 showed the district had 223 student cases and 26 staff cases, bringing the year’s total to 9,582 student cases and 1,842 staff cases.
In Hillsborough County Schools, there were 122 staff cases and 393 student cases, reported on Jan. 21. During this school year, the district has reported cases involving 3,981 staff members and 18,993 students.
Want to order four free COVID tests?
Every residential household is eligible to order four free COVID tests, being provided for through the federal government. Order the free tests at COVIDTESTS.gov.
Published January 26, 2022