Alabamians can get free COVID-19 test kits

Households in Alabama can register for free COVID-19 test kits from the White House. The Biden administration is currently offering four free kits for every residential address that applies online. The new testing program comes as Alabama healthcare providers see signs that the novel omicron variant of COVID-19 is nearing its peak. Dr. David Kimberlin teaches pediatric medicine at UAB. He says omicron is more contagious than previous strains of COVID, but the news isn’t all bad.

“A bit of a silver lining…a bit…is that the proportion of hospitalized patients has been lower than it has been in previous outbreaks of the virus,” Kimberlin said. It’s better than not.

But a less threatening variant does not mean fewer cases. The number of COVID-19 patients would strain Alabama’s hospital system. Dr. Kimberlin adds that Alabama Children’s Hospital is also reporting a record number of young people being treated for the coronavirus in addition to infected adults.

“So really, they’re just saying well, maybe a smaller proportion are in an intensive care unit or on a ventilator. Again, better than that it’s not, but this isn’t a time for us to celebrate and say so we don’t have much to fear…we have a lot to fear in this moment.

A White House press release says the free COVID test kits will ship within 7-12 days of being ordered. Additionally, the administration says private health insurance companies will be required to cover COVID home test kits for free. Ten million additional kits will be made available to public schools each month.

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