Another round of free COVID tests available

Here's what to know about rapid COVID tests and the BA.2 variant

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Here's what to know about rapid COVID tests and the BA.2 variant

Americans can now order another round of free COVID -19 tests from the federal government. In this third round, the U.S. Postal Service will deliver eight rapid tests to any interested U.S. household.

Orders can be made by visiting COVIDtests.gov. The site appeared active Monday.

These additional COVID tests come at a time when COVID cases are up sharply, especially in the Northeast where many areas have high levels of community transmission.

After dropping to some of the lowest levels during the pandemic, COVID cases in Georgia are also steadily rising with the 7-day average of new confirmed cases increasing to 1,240, up from 422 a month ago.

Now that at-home COVID-19 tests have become more commonplace, public health experts say case numbers in the U.S. are far higher than what’s being reported. That makes official counts less reliable in capturing the true spread of the virus.

ExploreEverything you need to know about getting a COVID vaccine in metro Atlanta

About the at-home COVID-19 tests

The tests available for order:

  • Are rapid antigen at-home tests, not PCR
  • Give results within 30 minutes (no lab drop-off required)
  • Work whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Work whether or not you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines

Take an at-home test:

  • If you begin having COVID-19 symptoms like fever, sore throat, runny nose, or loss of taste or smell, or
  • At least 5 days after you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, or
  • When you’re going to gather with a group of people, especially those who are at risk of severe disease or may not be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines.