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Coronavirus Watch

Third Round of Free Covid Test Kits

As the new Covid cases are rising in certain parts of the country, the federal government is offering another round of free at-home Covid test kits to all Americans which can be ordered by visiting COVIDtests.gov website.

This comes as COVID cases in the U.S. have risen more than 60 percent in the past two weeks and hospitalizations have begun to climb again as well.

– MPR News

According to the website, the at-home test is for:

  • Are rapid antigen at-home tests, not PCR
  • Can be taken anywhere
  • 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
  • Are also referred to as self-tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests

The website lists the following testing instructions:

  • 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

“To promote broad access, the program allows 3 orders of free at-home tests (16 tests total) per residential address,” an update to the frequently asked questions on Covid.gov states, writes Axios.

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of May 17) 737,439,955 doses have been distributed and 582,348,105 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data a total of 9,938,945 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of May 17) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 1,486,208 with 12,569 deaths.