Free At-Home Covid Test Kits Again Available Through Federal Website
While warning Americans of a possible winter covid surge, the Biden administration is shifting its dwindling relief funds to open CovidTests.gov back up for free orders. Every household is eligible for four tests.
Biden Administration Makes At-Home Covid Tests Available For Free Again This Winter
The Biden administration is making rapid Covid tests available for free again this winter through a limited round of ordering. Households can now order a total of four rapid Covid tests for free at CovidTests.gov. Orders will start shipping next week, just days before families gather for the Christmas holiday, and deliveries will continue in the following weeks, according to the White House. (Kimball, 12/15)
White House Warns Of Possible Covid-19 Winter Surge: 'This Is Not One Disease In Isolation'
For Americans across the country preparing to gather and socialize with family and friends during the end-of-year holiday season, the White House has a clear warning: Covid-19 is not over, and you had better protect yourself. (Lee, 12/15)
Detect Inc. COVID Tests Recalled For Potential False Negative Results
The company that made the test kits, Detect, Inc., has recalled three lots of the Detect COVID-19 Test. A total of 11,102 tests shipped to customers from July 26 to August 26 have been recalled. There are over 20 versions of at-home COVID test kits approved by the FDA. Impacted lots from Detect include HB264, HY263 and HY264. (Martin, 12/14)
More on the surge of covid, flu, RSV, and strep —
Omicron BQ, XBB Subvariants Are A Serious Threat To Boosters And Knock Out Antibody Treatments, Study Finds
The omicron subvariants that have become dominant in recent months present a serious threat to the effectiveness of the new boosters, render antibody treatments ineffective and could cause a surge of breakthrough infections, according to a new study. (Kimball, 12/14)
The Boston Globe:
Flu And RSV Arrived Earlier And Hit Harder This Year. Could COVID Be To Blame?
Instead, [covid's] been eclipsed by two more familiar foes — RSV and the flu — which both arrived early and, in some cases, hit harder than usual. Now scientists are trying to understand why. Their theories range from an immunity gap brought on by pandemic precautions, to the way the three respiratory viruses interact, to how COVID infections have impacted people’s immune systems. The answers will determine whether the unusual virus behavior is a blip or the new normal, and may inform ongoing debates about the benefits of mask-wearing. (Bartlett, 12/14)
Hospitals Report Rises In Invasive Strep A Infections Among Kids
Several children's hospitals in the U.S. have detected increases in invasive group A strep infections, a severe and sometimes life-threatening illness that occurs when bacteria spread to areas of the body that are normally germ-free, such as the bloodstream. Children's hospitals in Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Washington told NBC News they are seeing higher-than-average numbers of cases this season compared to past years. (Bendix, 12/14)
Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Nevada COVID Surge Continues; Masks Recommended For Some
New COVID-19 cases in Clark County and statewide continued to increase this week but at a slower rate, while hospitalizations dipped, new state data shows. For the second week in a row, Clark County is experiencing medium community levels of COVID-19 — a federal designation based on cases and hospitalizations — after resting for months at low levels. (Hynes, 12/14)
Should I Wear A Mask? SUNY Purchase Brings Back Mandate To Fight Tripledemic
Purchase College, part of the State University of New York system, mandated masking indoors as respiratory viruses have been spreading rapidly in the state and around the country. (John Milton, 12/14)