The U.S. government is again offering free Covid-19 tests for home delivery through the mail.
The tests are being offered in anticipation of a typical surge during the winter holiday season.
The Covid test kits are being offered in batches of four, though anyone who did not order a batch in September can secure up to eight of them for the time being, at COVIDtests.gov.
The new offering of the free tests comes ahead of the first winter since the Covid pandemic began that insurers are no longer required to cover their cost. On average, at-home tests now cost $11 out of pocket, according to the nonprofit health research firm KFF.
Two months ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved updated vaccines that target the XBB.1.5 Covid variant.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that everyone over age 6 months should should get the new, updated Covid vaccine this fall.
Currently, more than 270 million Americans, or 81% of the population, have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine. Among them, 230 million, or 70% of the population, are considered fully vaccinated.