USPS ships COVID tests as some areas brace for Omicron spike -White House

The push to get tests in the hands of Americans at no cost, along with free higher quality masks, comes as the surge in cases driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant began to subside in some states. The average daily U.S. COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant fell about 5% in the past week, most notably in areas that saw an early surge in infections such as New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director said.


Reuters | Washington DC | Updated: 22-01-2022 00:34 IST | Created: 22-01-2022 00:33 IST
USPS ships COVID tests as some areas brace for Omicron spike -White House
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The U.S. Postal Service began shipping at-home rapid COVID-19 tests on Thursday after millions of orders were placed through a new federal website launched this week, the White House said on Friday as the rise in Omicron-related cases shifted nationwide.

The federal government has tens of millions of tests on hand to ship out and will disclose next week how many households have ordered them, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients told reporters at a briefing. The push to get tests in the hands of Americans at no cost, along with free higher quality masks, comes as the surge in cases driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant began to subside in some states.

The average daily U.S. COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant fell about 5% in the past week, most notably in areas that saw an early surge in infections such as New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director said. There were about 744,600 cases per day on average in the past seven days. Still, some areas may still see a spike in infections, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at the briefing.

"In some parts of the country we are seeing the number of daily cases caused by the Omicron variant beginning to decline," she said. "The surge in cases started at different times in different regions and (we) may continue to see high case counts in some areas of the country in the days and weeks ahead." Daily COVID-19 hospitalizations were down about 1% at 21,000 admissions on average in the past seven days, she said, while daily deaths more at more than 1,700 per day.

Walensky also told reporters the agency was looking to shift its language on COVID-19 vaccinations to encourage Americans to be "up-to-date" with their shots by having a booster dose within a recommended time frame, but did not say whether the agency was formally changing its definition of fully vaccinated.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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