Each U.S. household can now order four more free Covid tests, to be sent out by the federal government starting Nov. 27.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced the new round of test shipments Monday as the holiday season begins — a time when public health experts typically expect cases of Covid, flu, colds and respiratory syncytial virus to surge.
As with the previous five rounds of government-issued Covid tests, orders can be placed online at Covid.gov. People who didn’t take advantage of the last offer in September can still order the four rapid antigen tests made available then, for a total of eight tests. The only information required is a name and a home address — no health insurance information needed.
The order page warns that although tests may arrive with expiration dates that have passed, the Food and Drug Administration has extended the dates for most approved tests. So users can check the true expiration dates of their Covid tests on the FDA’s regularly updated list.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Covid hospitalizations and deaths both rose by around 9% during the week ending Nov. 11 — the most recent data publicly available. The test positivity rate stayed flat, meanwhile, with just over 8% of PCR tests coming back positive. Overall, Covid hospitalizations and deaths remain low for this time of year compared to previous years.