The Biden Administration said Wednesday that it will resume offering free at-home Covid tests to American households starting next week.
This announcement coincides with the concerning trend of rising Covid-19 hospitalizations in the United States since July, with weekly admissions now exceeding triple the figures from two months ago.
Starting Monday, Sept. 25, households can request four free COVID-19 tests through COVIDtests.gov. Tests will be shipped starting Oct. 2.
The Biden administration emphasized that the at-home tests scheduled for distribution detect currently circulating Covid variants. The test kits are intended for use through the end of 2023 and will include instructions on how individuals can check whether the expiration date of a test has been extended.
The government had been providing complimentary test kits through the website since January 2022. However, as of June 1, they temporarily halted accepting new orders to ensure an ample supply of tests remained available.
“We have been looking at what we’ve seen before in the increase in cases. We think being able to make tests available is just an important tool that we have and can make available,” said Dawn O’Connell, head of the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response.
The Biden administration Wednesday also announced a $600 million initiative aimed at bolstering the manufacturing capabilities of 12 Covid test manufacturers located throughout the United States. This strategic investment is anticipated to yield approximately 200 million tests from these companies, further enhancing the nation’s testing infrastructure.
According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the week ending September 9 saw over 20,500 individuals hospitalized with Covid-19, marking an approximately 8% increase compared to the previous week.