Mississippians can now order free COVID-19 tests from the federal government

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The federal government is once again offering free COVID-19 tests.

Beginning Monday, people can order four rapid tests per household. The $600 million move from the White House comes as the Biden administration recently chose to further fund 12 domestic COVID-19 test manufacturers.

“Manufacturing COVID-19 tests in the United States strengthens our preparedness for the upcoming fall and winter seasons, reduces our reliance on other countries, and provides good jobs to hardworking Americans,” Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell said.

The tests that will be sent out are rapid antigen at-home tests, not PCR, and will return results within 30 minutes. They can be ordered at COVIDTests.gov or by calling 1-800-232-0233 or 1-888-720-7489.

The U.S. government is offering free tests after a three-month hiatus of not doing so as cases trend upward across the nation. In addition to the tests, an updated vaccine was recently rolled out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Jennifer Bryan, president-elect of the Mississippi State Medical Association, said it is not a bad idea to get the updated vaccine as fall sets in.

“We’re beginning to see increasing cases of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses,” Bryan said. “It’s that time of year. It’s back to school and some people are getting back together with it being fall. In fact, if you look over the old maps, [rising cases] is not new this time of the year.”

“The main thing I think I hear from most people is they don’t want to miss school or work or vacations, so they’re looking at it more like the flu shot these days and just taking general precautions to stay well and avoid it.”

To learn more about COVID-19 or to find a vaccine location near you, click here.

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