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Americans can now order 4 more free home COVID-19 tests

Americans can now order 4 more free home COVID-19 tests
Making more tests available is one part of steps President Biden laid out in his State of the Union address to continue to manage the pandemic, which is becoming endemic. UPI Photo

March 7 (UPI) -- Starting Monday, Americans can order another shipment of four home COVID-19 tests -- as they were first allowed to do a few weeks ago.

President Joe Biden said earlier this year that his administration was buying 1 billion home coronavirus tests to be sent to Americans at no cost. He said half of that amount would be given out in the first shipments that began in mid-January, which provided each household with four tests.

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Biden said during his State of the Union address last week that he was making available four more tests per household.

"And on testing, we have made hundreds of millions of tests available for you to order for free," Biden said in his speech. "Even if you already ordered free tests tonight, I am announcing that you can order more."

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The new tests are available at the COVIDtests.gov website.

The website says the home tests can be taken anywhere and provide results within 30 minutes.

The site also offers guidance for Americans about when they should take the tests.

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"If you begin having COVID-⁠19 symptoms like fever, sore throat, runny nose, or loss of taste or smell, or at least five days after you come into close contact with someone with COVID-⁠19, or when you're going to gather with a group of people, especially those who are at risk of severe disease or may not be up to date on their vaccines," it says.

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The new tests can be ordered on the website or by calling (800) 232-0233 or TTY (888) 720-7489.

Making more tests available is one part of steps Biden laid out in his State of the Union address to continue to manage the pandemic, which is becoming endemic.

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"We must prepare for new variants. Over the past year, we've gotten much better at detecting new variants. If necessary, we'll be able to deploy new vaccines within 100 days instead of many more months or years," he said. "And, if Congress provides the funds we need, we'll have new stockpiles of tests, masks, and pills ready if needed.

"I cannot promise a new variant won't come. But I can promise you we'll do everything within our power to be ready if it does."

Earlier Monday, scientists at Johns Hopkins University said that the global death toll from COVID-19 has passed 6 million. Almost 1 million of those deaths have occurred in the United States.

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