NEWS

Testing gives us [some] peace of mind

The rise of the omicron variant coincided with the 2021 holiday season, which in turn led to massive demand for at-home COVID-19 testing kits. Supplies ran dry across the country as people rushed to get tested before they met up with friends and family.

 

Reacting to this demand, President Biden announced the purchase of one billion covid-19 tests that would be provided free of charge to Americans, with 500 million tests being made available for online ordering via the government-run website, www.COVIDTests.gov. For those individuals who lack access or are unable to order online, a telephone hotline has been set up to take orders (800-232-0233). Kits will be mailed directly to applicants within 7-12 days of the order. Each American household will be able to order 4 free tests. 

 

There are over 20,000 free testing sites across the US, and four times as many pharmacies involved in the federal pharmacy free testing program. Millions of at-home testing kits have been delivered to community health centers and rural health clinics, and many school districts are sending tests home with students. Testing for COVID-19 is essential to identifying positive cases and preventing onward transmission, infections and potentially hospitalizations and death. 

 

As kits become more available and the testing process becomes more mainstream and acceptable, people will realize that it is a quick and easy way to ensure that someone is not unintentionally spreading the virus to friends, family, colleagues or classmates. The benefits of testing are clear. Many schools have implemented ‘Test to Stay’ programs, and in the absence of vaccine mandates for businesses, testing requirements are becoming the norm in offices  across the nation.

 

At AM, we have set up and managed COVID-19 testing centers at every scale. Every day, we see the impact that our work has in allowing schools to remain open, offices to function and for people to attend events. Testing offers that peace of mind which allows society to function somewhat normally, albeit with a certain sense of wariness and caution as the virus still likely has many surprises in store. 

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