Covid tests rolled out across US again after hint face masks to return

Face masks/Fauci/Covid tests

Visitors to the website can get up to four free kits for their household this winter

Reuters/Wikimedia Commons
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 21/09/2023

- 10:57

Updated: 21/09/2023

- 11:49

The US government is relaunching its free test website

Free Covid tests are being distributed across the US this winter.

The government has announced it is relaunching its website, where users can request up to four free tests for their household from September 25.

The website, which was launched in January 2022, stopped taking orders in June, however the site will soon be back up and running.

The testing kit programme is being relaunched ahead of the cooler autumn and winter months, a time when the virus increases in cases.

WATCH: How effective are face masks?

The resurgence of free kits comes after Dr Anthony Fauci hinted that face masks could return last week.

Whilst Fauci said he would be “extremely surprised” if blanket restrictions were put in place for the whole US, he implied they could return at a state or local level.

Covid hospitalisations have already increased in the US for eight weeks straight.

The kits on offer will detect currently circulating Covid variants, the Biden administration has said.

When asked whether mask mandates should return, Fauci said he believed there would be recommendations, rather than mandates, to wear the face coverings.

He said: “I can see that if we get a significant uptick in cases that you may see the recommendation that masks be used under certain circumstances and indoor crowded settings.

“But I don't see there being, certainly not federal mandates — I would be extremely surprised if we would see that.”


He added: “There may be local organizations that may require masks, but I think that what we are going to see mostly is that if the cases go up then there might be recommendations, not mandates — there's a big difference there.”

Fauci said that because a large portion the population were vaccinated, the chances of the virus overwhelming the US again was low.

However, he did recommend that older Americans and those with health conditions should get the booster vaccine before winter.

Earlier this month, US media outlets issued advice telling Americans to wear masks this winter as cases started to rise.

Woman wearing a mask

US media outlets issued advice telling Americans to wear masks this winter


News channel CNBC released a guide detailing when Americans should wear a mask.

They said that those who suffer from health conditions who could be severely negatively impacted if they catch Covid, should wear a mask in crowded and public spaces.

CNBC said that experts are stressing the importance of wearing a mask in order to protect yourself, no matter your health status.

“That also applies to Americans with normal risk levels, who should also consider masking depending on where they are or who they make contact with,” the publication said.

“All people, regardless of risk level, should consider masking if certain Covid metrics in their region are high.”

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