President Joe Biden on Tuesday (December 21) is expected to announce the government’s rollout of free at-home Covid-19 testing and other measures as millions gear up for the holidays and newest wave of the pandemic.
According to reports, the US has purchased 500 million at-home rapid test kits and plans to distribute them free of charge to Americans who sign up on a website. The details in how many tests an individual household can order are still being worked out, CNN reported.
Free at-home testing is just one of several new measures the government is taking as the number of new Covid-19 cases –– and the now-dominant Omicron variant –– surges in several states across the country.
Biden is also readying 1,000 military service members to be deployed in January and February to the most overburdened healthcare facilities around the US. Those deployed will include doctors, nurses, medics, and other medical personnel, administration officials confirmed with CNN.
The president is also set to address FEMA’s efforts to widen hospital capacity and reveal that medical supplies is already in place where stock may run low.
In terms of upcoming wave of travel for the holidays, Biden is expected to reassure vaccinated Americans they don’t need to cancel their travel plans. But, to those who haven’t gotten the jab, the commander-in-chief is set to lay out a warning about the risk for severe illness.
“The President will tell the American people if they’re vaccinated and follow the precautions we all know well, especially masking while traveling, they should feel comfortable celebrating Christmas and the holidays as they planned,” a senior administration official said.
Americans should be prepared to see new vaccination sites pop up, greater vaccine access, as well as federal vaccination staff to help add “thousands of appointments each week,” the official stated.