FREE COVID Tests: Chicago Hospitalizations on the Rise, Testing Resumes!

Free COVID tests available again

The offer of free COVID-19 tests for Americans to take at home has been reinstated by the Biden administration. These tests, which became accessible on Monday, can be ordered through, with a cap of one order per residential address and a household’s eligibility for up to four fast antigen testing.

The website’s ordering procedure is simple; all that is needed from customers is their name and shipping address; no financial information is required. The orders will start to be shipped by the U.S. Postal Service the following week.

The Biden administration announced this choice to offer free at-home testing once more as a part of a $600 million plan that also includes money for test development. According to Dawn O’Connell, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services, the goal is to make these tests available over the holiday season as a way to stop the virus’s spread.

O’Connell underlined the significance of acknowledging the virus’s ongoing existence and spread, regardless of whether or not people are ready to move past it. Based on historical trends, she expects a spike in cases throughout the fall and winter months.

Chicago presently has a “low” COVID-19 risk category, yet last week saw a 30% rise in hospital admissions, per the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) data. Since the disease’s distribution and severity indicators peaked in July, the trend in hospitalizations has been increasing higher.

Health officials warn that while a minor decline in lab-confirmed cases for the second straight week, the decline in demand for lab-based testing means that this indication may not accurately reflect the disease’s true spread.

The Chicago Department of Public Health’s deputy commissioner for disease control, Massimo Pacilli, observed that the rise in hospitalizations serves as a warning that COVID-19 is still a threat, causing recurrent waves of infections, some of which require hospitalization. But he made sure to point out that the current hospitalization rate is only about one-third of what it was a year ago, largely because of immunity from immunizations and earlier illnesses.

A fresh vaccination that is intended to provide superior defense against severe sickness brought on by the virus’s mutating strains has arrived in Chicago. Health officials expect a rise in immunizations as more providers receive vaccine supplies, but vaccination rates in the city have fallen to pandemic levels.

People can call the CDC’s information line at 1-800-232-0233 for help purchasing at-home tests.

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