WASHINGTON, Jan 22 – The US Postal Service has begun sending free COVID-19 tests home after millions of orders were placed on the organisation’s new website launched this week, the White House said Friday as an increase in Omicron-related cases moved across the country.
The coalition government has tens of millions of tests in place and began sending them on Thursday, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients told reporters at a press conference, adding that management would release more details next week.
The pressure to get free trials at the hands of the American people, as well as the best protective masks, comes as the increase in conditions driven by the highly infectious Omicron variant began to diminish in some states.
The daily rate of US COVID-19 cases from Omicron variants dropped by about 5% last week, especially in areas that have seen early surgery such as New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. There were about 744,600 cases per day on average seven days ago.
“In some parts of the country we are seeing a number of daily cases being caused by the Omicron divergence,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “The increase in cases has started at different times in different regions and (we) may continue to see higher rates in some parts of the country in the days and weeks to come.”
COVID-19 daily hospitals have dropped by almost 1% to 21,000 on average over the past seven days, he said, with daily deaths of more than 1,700 a day.
Walensky also said the organization was looking to change its language in the COVID-19 vaccine to encourage Americans to be “reviewed” by having a timely booster dose, but did not say it was officially changing its definition of a complete vaccine.
“Prevention of infection and hospitalization of the Omicron type is very high for those who have the latest information on their vaccine, which means those who are not strengthened if they qualify,” he said.