You’ll soon be able to get free COVID-19 tests by mail again.
Starting Monday, every household in Florida and the rest of the country will be able to order four free rapid at-home COVID tests online at covid.gov/tests.
The Biden administration’s decision to restart the program, which previously distributed more than 755 million tests to U.S. households, comes as COVID cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in the country as it braces for another possible tripledemic of flu, COVID-19 and RSV in the fall and winter seasons.
The free COVID test rollout comes as newly updated COVID vaccines arrive at select retail pharmacies, community health centers, doctors’ offices and other healthcare providers in the country.
The rollout of the new COVID-19 vaccines, developed by Pfizer and Moderna, began late last week after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the green light to the shots.
The vaccines were formulated to target Omicron variant XBB.1.5, which was the dominant strain in the country earlier this year, in preparation for the 2023-2024 fall and winter season.
While XBB.1.5 is no longer the dominant variant, federal health officials say the updated shots will provide good protection against the circulating variants in the country, including the current dominant strain EG.5, also known as Eris, which is a descendant of the omicron variant. The CDC is recommending everyone 6 months and older receive at least one dose of the new vaccine.
This article will be updated.
This story was originally published September 20, 2023, 4:31 PM.