U.S. to offer another round of free at-home Covid tests starting Monday
- The Biden administration said it is offering another round of free at-home Covid tests to American households ahead of the holiday season.
- Starting Monday, Americans can use the site to request four additional tests per household.
- Demand for tests and other Covid products such as vaccines and treatments has plummeted over the last year as cases and public concern about the virus dwindled from earlier in the pandemic.
The Biden administration on Monday said it is offering another round of free at-home Covid tests to U.S. households ahead of the holiday season, when more people gather indoors and the virus typically spreads at higher levels.
Starting Monday, Americans can use COVIDtests.gov to request four free tests per household. Those who have not ordered any tests this fall can now place two orders for a total of eight tests, according to the website.
The administration in September allowed people to request an initial round of four free tests through the site, resuming a federal program that temporarily shut down during a political fight over Covid funding.
At-home tests are a critical tool to protect against the virus, especially now that lab PCR tests — the traditional method of detecting Covid — have become more expensive and less accessible since the government ended the public health emergency in May.
But demand for tests, along with Covid vaccines and treatments, has plummeted over the last year as cases and public concern about the virus dwindled from earlier in the pandemic.
More CNBC health coverage
Only a small share of Americans appear to be worried about Covid disrupting their holiday plans this fall and winter.
About 3 in 10 Americans said they are concerned they will get seriously sick from Covid or will spread the virus to people close to them over the holidays, according to a poll released Friday by health policy research organization KFF.
Less than half were concerned about the potential for another Covid surge during the winter, which has occurred in previous years of the pandemic, the poll said.
Still, signs of a winter Covid wave are emerging.
More than 16,200 Americans were hospitalized in the week ending Nov. 11, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That marks an 8.6% increase from the previous week.
Don't miss these stories from CNBC PRO:
- Michael Burry reveals new bet against chip stocks after closing out winning market short
- Warren Buffett's Berkshire trimming holdings, keeping new stock secret
- It's been 2 years since the Nasdaq hit a record and it's gone nowhere since
- Deutsche Bank says this electric flying vehicle stock will more than double in the next 12 months
NATO countries scramble to deny ground troops will go into Ukraine after Moscow warns of 'inevitable' conflict
Bitcoin jumps above $60,000 for the first time since November 2021
Stock futures fall Wednesday as investors await fresh inflation data this week
5 things to know before the stock market opens Wednesday
Russia relishes NATO disarray after hasty denials of plan to deploy ground troops to Ukraine