Beginning today (Sept. 25) the federal government will send four free COVID-19 rapid tests per household to anyone who requests them.
The announcement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services came in response to a recent increase in hospitalizations due to covid.
Treatments that can reduce the virus load in the body are now available and have been found to be effective, but for these treatments to work, they must be administered within the first five days after symptoms start. The earlier the treatment is given, the more effective in preventing serious illness or death.
If you obtained COVID-19 rapid tests and have not yet used them, they may have passed the expiration date on the box. However, some tests are still good past the date printed on the boxes. Before discarding expired tests, check the lot numbers against the list on COVIDtests.gov. The expiration dates for many tests have been extended.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control advises people with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others.
As the COVID-19 virus continues to mutate, protection from the initial rounds of vaccines may wane, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Likewise, those who already had covid may not have immunity to the new strains.
Search for vaccination sites by zip code at Vaccines.gov or text your zip code to 438829 or by calling 800-232-0233 (TTY: 888-720-7489).