In January of 2022, while the omicron variant was spreading throughout the public, the Biden administration allowed for the ordering of free COVID-19 tests through the US postal service.1 Every home in the US was eligible to receive free at-home tests. Over 600 million tests were distributed through the program, before its end date of September 2, 2022.2
Testing is an essential tool in mitigating the spread of Covid-19. The easy access to these convenient and free tests allowed Americans to know with certainty if they were contagious or not for Covid-19. However, on Friday, September 2nd, the federal government ended its free Covid testing program.
Covid-19 was declared a public health emergency on January 27th 2020.3
However, the latest extension of the public health emergency will end on October, 13th 2022.4
The suspension of the program comes from Congress not renewing funding to replenish the stockpile of tests. American's options for testing will now be turned over to the insurance sector. The availability and costs of Covid-19 testing will be at the discretion of insurance companies.
Research shows that Covid-19 may be a seasonal illness similar to influenza.5 Meaning that Covid-19 infections show a pattern of spiking in the fall and winter months.
This is because viruses tend to thrive better in cold and dry climates. Other contributing factors include lack of sunlight and people spending more time indoors in closer proximity to one another.6
Infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci warned of a likely surge of Covid-19 this fall and winter. In fact, the Biden administration predicts that 100 million Americans could be infected.7
It is now well known that testing saves lives. Individuals may have Covid but show no symptoms, making them carriers of the disease. When planning a trip or a social event, testing allows for peace of mind knowing that you will not spread Covid, especially to more vulnerable individuals. It is one of the most effective strategies for society to get back to normal while also being conscious of those around us.
Although the government is putting a halt on the free Covid test program, there is still good news. You can find Covid at-home testing options to fit your needs.
If you are looking to have a test at home ready to use, Boomerang offers a free kit that only requires you to pay a low shipping and handling fee which includes overnight shipping back to our lab and results in 24-48 hours after the sample is received. An expedited option is also available as well as a low-cost rapid antigen test that gives you results in as little as 15 minutes.
Whatever your needs, there is a solution. Keep a Covid self-testing kit on hand for your own peace of mind and for the protection of those around you.
Learn more about all of Boomerang's Covid-19 testing options here.