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ATK Antigen test kit covid-19 virus test on white background

Source: Penpak Ngamsathain / Getty

 

Americans are now eligible to receive a third round of at-home COVID-19 tests. The U.S. government-backed initiative was created to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and cases appear to be rising across the country.

Each household will receive eight rapid antigen COVID-19 tests total and they will be split into two separate shipments. The tests are completely free and will be sent out courtesy of the U.S Postal Service. You can place an order for your third round of tests online at covid.gov/tests. If you’re unable to access the website by computer, call the COVID.gov hotline to place your order at  1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).

The initiative comes as a fourth wave of COVID surges across the United States. New York, Mississippi and Louisiana are some areas that have been slammed by rapid infection rates. In New York City, cases have skyrocketed with an average of 9,895 cases per day, according to the New York Times. Deaths have also increased by 35 percent. Louisiana reported an average of 610 cases per day, while the seven-day moving average climbed to 411 cases per day in Mississippi, although deaths in the state have decreased to 40 percent.

This week, the death toll from COVID-19 reached 1 million, a grim reality as the Biden Administration struggles to combat the disease with vaccinations and other preventative measures. During the Global COVID Summit on May 12, President Biden reassured Americans that he would be doubling down on his efforts to help curb the spread.

“I continue to call on Congress here at home to take the urgent action to provide emergency COVID-19 funding that is vital to protect Americans, to make sure that we maintain our supplies of COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines, including next-generation vaccines that are being developed,” he said according to CBS News.

As of May 16, 257.9 million people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 220.6 million of those are fully vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

 

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