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Federal Gov't. making COVID-19 tests, masks available for free

The COVID-19 numbers have continued to rise throughout Connecticut. The average daily case rate in Redding has jumped over the last 4 weeks from 30 cases per 100,000 population to 143.  The test positivity rate in Redding increased during the last 4 weeks from 6.9 percent to 26.1 percent. 

Health Officer Doug Hartline says getting fully vaccinated, masking, distancing, and staying home when sick is imperative. 

The public can begin ordering free home-test kits through a new government website.  Orders at https://www.covidtests.gov/ are limited to 4 per residential address. Tests will ship within 7-12 days of ordering.

People with private insurance will also be able to get over-the-counter tests reimbursed when purchased at pharmacies or retailers. There’s a limit of 8 tests a month per individual.

The Biden administration will begin making 400 million N95 masks available for free to Americans starting next week. The step comes after federal officials emphasized the masks' better protection against the omicron variant of COVID-19 over cloth face coverings. The White House said Wednesday the masks will come from the government's Strategic National Stockpile, which has more than 750 million of the highly protective masks on hand. The masks will be available for pickup at pharmacies and community health centers across the country. The White House says the masks will begin shipping this week for distribution starting late next week.

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Jill Schlesinger

Local Headlines