The White House announced on Thursday that it will offer US households more free COVID-19 tests in preparation for a possible surge of the virus as people travel and gather indoors with family during the holidays.
For a limited time, all US households can order a total of four free COVID-19 rapid tests through COVIDTest.gov. The kits begin to ship the week of Dec. 19, according to a White House statement.
The program, which was paused in September, distributed over 600 million tests to households across the country, according to the New York Times.
As part of its winter preparedness plan, the Biden administration said it will use existing funds to pay for the tests in absence of Congress passing legislation to provide additional money for the nation’s COVID-19 response.
Free rapid tests will also be distributed to trusted locations, including schools, community health centers, rural health clinics, and long-term care facilities.
In addition to these locations, rapid tests will also be distributed to many of the 500 major food banks and 6,500 Department of Housing and Urban Development–assisted rental properties serving older adults as well as
This announcement comes as the US faces a “tripledemic” with the flu and RSV circulating alongside COVID-19.
“While COVID-19 is not the disruptive force it once was, the virus continues to evolve, and cases are on the rise again as families are spending more time indoors and gathering for the holidays,” the statement reads.