The Biden administration announced that US households can now order eight additional free at-home COVID tests, on the heels of another sobering COVID milestone – 1 million US deaths from the disease.
This third round of free COVID test kits brings the total number available to each household up to 16, since the program’s birth in January. The administration delivered approximately 350 million free tests to US households during the first two rounds.
“The more testing options that we can get into people’s hands, the better informed they’ll be about their health situation. However, if you’re truly worried about COVID, we still recommend that you schedule a formal PCR test,” said Ulysses Wu, MD, Chief Epidemiologist & System Director for Infectious Diseases at Hartford HealthCare.
Johns Hopkins University officially reported 1 million COVID deaths on Tuesday, less than a week after President Joe Biden ordered flags at half-staff in anticipation of the milestone and urged Americans to remain vigilant.
The US is the first country to report 1 million deaths from the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) speculate that the true death toll of the disease may be even higher due to underreported deaths in the early days of the pandemic.
More than half of US COVID deaths occurred after the release of the first vaccine in December 2020. The latest data suggests that roughly two out of every three Americans are fully vaccinated, and half of them have received at least one booster dose, despite CDC data indicating that unvaccinated people are 10 times more likely to die than fully vaccinated people.
“One million deaths is a very sobering number that seems to have passed without much notice,” said Wu. “But it should be noted that although one million is a major milestone, 999,999 would be considered just as bad. Even one too many deaths is bad, especially if it was preventable.”
Click here to order your free at-home COVID tests.