US expands distribution of free COVID tests ahead of holidays

Every U.S. household is again eligible to order four free COVID-19 tests from the federal government beginning Nov. 20, according to — one of the few remaining places to request the free rapid tests.

This is in addition to the four tests households were also able to request in September. Since that time, 58 million tests were shipped to 14.5 million households, ABC News reported.

As winter sets in and virus transmission tends to increase as more people spend time indoors, the head of the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, Dawn O'Connell, told ABC News getting the tests into public hands is important before they expire.

"We know that the tests are going to be good for the next several months," she said to ABC News. "They're not going to be good forever. And so we think it's important that we go ahead and have them in the hands of the American people so they can use them and protect themselves as we head into the winter."

COVID-19 cases are seeing a slight uptick. According to the most recent CDC data, between Nov. 5 and Nov. 11 there was an 8.6% increase in hospitalizations due to COVID-19, and a 9.1% increase in deaths during the same period.

Orders will ship beginning the week of Nov. 27.


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