MONDAY, Nov. 20, 2023 (HealthDay News) — In an effort to prepare for an expected resurgence in COVID-19 due to holiday gatherings and the ongoing cold and flu season, the U.S. Postal Service has announced that free additional COVID-19 tests are available for order from the federal government.
Tests will start shipping for free starting the week of Nov. 27, the USPS says on its ordering website. Tests also can be ordered online at COVID.gov, same as the last round of free tests offered in September. Households that did not order in September will be able to place two orders at the same time, for a total of eight free COVID-19 tests.
About 56 million tests have been delivered so far this season, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That means about 14 million American households have requested tests.
HHS supplies the tests out of a stockpile of previously purchased kits. Some kits might show expired dates, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has extended the expirations of many home COVID-19 tests.
The COVID.gov and USPS websites urge people to check the expiration date of COVID-19 tests they have on hand against dates posted at the FDA website, to avoid disposing of still-good tests that bear a now-inaccurate past-due expiration date.
Health officials are urging Americans to use COVID-19 tests whenever sick to reduce the risk for spreading the disease. People who test positive are urged to isolate, even if they are not symptomatic.
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