U.S. Government Is Offering Free COVID Tests Again, As Cases Rise 57% From Two Weeks Ago

The federal government is once again providing Americans with a free COVID-19 test kit in the mail, allowing up to eight more tests to be ordered through the USPS.

According to COVID.gov, any home in the US is allowed to order these tests, regardless of whether people have ordered the tests in previous rounds, according to COVID.gov. This time around, the order limit is two orders per residential address.

For more, see: Free rapid COVID home test: You can order a third batch from the federal government – here’s how

The move comes as COVID cases continue to increase and tend to be at the highest levels seen since November, as the omicron BA.2 variant and two other sub-variants appear to be even more infectious.

The US is averaging 95,813 cases a day, up 57% from two weeks ago, according to a New York Times tracker. Cases are higher in most states, but the Northeast and Midwest are being hit particularly hard, with case reports in both regions now higher than the peak of the spike turn last summer. There are concerns that the number of cases is even higher, as many people are currently testing at home and data is not being collected.

ICYMI: US COVID cases at highest level since November, while Northeast and Midwest are at the top of the plains

The national average had 22,075 hospital admissions per day, up 24% from two weeks ago, although the rate of increase was much slower than cases and much lower than that seen in previous spikes. The daily death toll has dropped by an average of under 400 to 301 people, down 9% from two weeks ago. The official number as measured by Johns Hopkins University is expected to hit one million anytime.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize booster shots of the vaccine made by Pfizer Inc.
+ 1.24%
and German partner BioNTech SE
+ 3.79%
The New York Times reported that for children ages 5 to 11 could be as early as Tuesday, citing multiple people familiar with the plan.

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That would make the youngest group eligible for additional injections. Last month, Pfizer and BioNTech said the booster significantly increased levels of neutralizing antibodies against both the original coronavirus and the omicron variant in a trial with 140 children.

The FDA late Monday authorized a test developed by Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings
+ 1.76%
allows people in the United States to self-test for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common cold, as well as flu and COVID-19.

The test does not require a prescription. People get swabs at home and mail tests to Labcorp labs. The results are then made available on an online portal. Teens and children are also allowed to experiment with adult support. Test kits cost $169 and can be insured, according to a spokesperson. It is expected to be available within the next three weeks.

Separately, the agency will not allow fluvoxamine, a generic treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder, as COVID-19 therapy.

“The FDA has determined that the data are insufficient to conclude that fluvoxamine may be effective in treating non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19 to prevent progression to severe illness and/or hospitalization,” the agency said. said the regulator, citing the need for a holistic review of scientific data.

A team of doctors led by Dr. David Boulware of the University of Minnesota in late 2021 formally requested FDA approval for fluvoxamine as a treatment for COVID-19. “I am disappointed that the FDA has come up with common standards for different standards such as major pharmaceuticals, in this case using different definitions of the endpoints of a single drug. [COVID-19-related] “hospitalization”, “Boulware tweeted Monday.

Update on the corona virus situation: MarketWatch’s daily roundup has curated and reported all the latest developments every weekday since the coronavirus pandemic began

Other COVID-19 news you should know:

• Authorities in Beijing restricted more people to their homes on Tuesday in a three-week effort to control a small but persistent COVID-19 outbreak in the Chinese capital, AP reported. Seven contiguous areas in the city’s Fengtai district have been designated a no-go zone for at least a week, with people ordered to stay at home in an area of ​​about 4 x 5 km (2.5 km). x 3 miles). The area is near a wholesale food market that was closed indefinitely on Saturday after a group was discovered there. The additional restrictions come as Shanghai, China’s largest city, gradually begins to ease a citywide lockdown that has trapped most of the population for more than six weeks.

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• North Korea on Tuesday reported another large increase in the number of suspected COVID-19 cases as a mass outbreak spread among the unvaccinated population and military medical officers were deployed. to distribute drugs, AP reported separately. State media said the North’s anti-virus headquarters said another 269,510 people had been found with a fever and six had died. That raises the death toll in North Korea to 56 after more than 1.48 million people developed a fever since late April. North Korea lacks testing supplies to confirm coronavirus infections in large numbers and reports no shows how many cases of fever are COVID-19.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wearing a mask appeared on state television as Pyongyang reported its first case of Covid-19 locally. The country, so far declared Covid-free, has poor health infrastructure to combat the outbreak. Photo: Associated Press

• Dr. Anthony Fauci says he won’t serve under Donald Trump again if the former president takes back the White House in 2024, MarketWatch’s Weston Blasi reports. Trump encouraged Fauci, director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to join the White House coronavirus task force at the start of the 2020 pandemic. So Fauci, now a medical adviser President Joe Biden’s chief economist, was asked by CNN Sunday whether he would work with Trump for a second term in office if COVID-19 remains a threat, or if a public health crisis develops. Another coin appears. Fauci replied, “Well, no,” with a small laugh. Fauci was also asked if he had confidence in Trump’s ability to deal with the pandemic again. “If you look at the history of the response in time [Trump] I think, you know, the best you can say it’s not optimal,” Fauci replied. “And I think just, history will speak for itself.”

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• Josh Shapiro, the only Democratic candidate running for governor of Pennsylvania and the state’s incumbent attorney general, has tested positive for COVID-19, he said on the morning of the Pennsylvania primary. 2022, NBC reported. Shapiro said he received positive results when he took a COVID test as a precaution before a trip to Johnstown and Pittsburgh on Monday night. “Attorney General Shapiro is currently experiencing mild symptoms and he plans to continue serving the people of Pennsylvania while isolating at home,” his campaign said in a statement.

According to a CDC report, more than a million Americans have been killed by Covid-19 in just over two years. But the disease has hit some segments of the US population far more than others. Illustration: Todd Johnson

Here’s what the numbers say

According to aggregated data by Johns Hopkins University, the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally stood at 522.1 million as of Tuesday, while the death toll rose above 6.26 million.

The US leads the world with 82.6 million cases and 999,850 deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s tracking tool shows that 220.6 million people living in the US are fully immunized, or 66.4% of the total population. But only 102.2 million people were boosted, or 46.4% of the vaccinated population.

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