CORONAVIRUS

White House reveals winter COVID-19 plans, more free tests

Dec 15, 2022, 10:23 AM
U.S. President Joe Biden welcomes guests to the East Room of the White House on December 14, 2022 i...
U.S. President Joe Biden welcomes guests to the East Room of the White House on December 14, 2022 in Washington, DC. The President is hosting the leaders of African nations attending the U.S-Africa Summit for a dinner and reception at the White House. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Joe Biden
(Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is again making some free COVID-19 tests available to all U.S. households as it unveils its contingency plans for potential coronavirus surges this winter.

After a three-month hiatus, the administration is making four rapid virus tests available through covidtests.gov starting Thursday, a senior administration official said. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the program. COVID-19 cases have shown a marked increase after the Thanksgiving holiday, and further increases are projected from indoor gathering and travel around Christmas and New Year’s.

The administration is putting personnel and equipment on standby should they be needed to help overwhelmed hospitals and nursing homes, as was necessary in earlier waves of the virus. So far, there have been no requests for assistance, but surge teams, ventilators and personal protective equipment are ready, the official said.

The Biden administration is also urging states and local governments to do more to encourage people to get the updated bivalent COVID-19 vaccines, which scientists say are more effective at protecting against serious illness and death from the currently circulating variants. The administration is reiterating best practices to nursing homes and long-term care facilities for virus prevention and treatment and is urging administrators as well as governments to encourage vulnerable populations to get the new shots.

The planning comes as the administration has struggled to persuade most Americans to get the updated boosters as cases and deaths have declined from pandemic highs and most people have embraced a return to most of their pre-pandemic activities.

A White House official said the new tests would come from the national stockpile, which still has reserves after the administration shut off the at-home testing program in September. New tests would be procured to replace tests distributed over the coming weeks under existing funding authorities. The Biden administration is still asking Congress for billions of dollars in additional funding for the virus response.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus

...
Ashley Moser

Flu, COVID and RSV all trending down for the first time in months, says CDC

Major respiratory illnesses are all trending down for the first time since September, according to the CDC.
10 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)...
Josh Ellis

Utah doctor, others charged with running COVID vaccine scheme, issuing fake records and giving fake shots

A Utah plastic surgeon, his medical corporation and three others have been charged after prosecutors say they issued fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards and injected minors with saline shots.
16 days ago
Dr. Angela Dunn, executive director of Salt Lake County Health Department, left, discusses schoolch...
Michael Houck

Salt Lake County ends its COVID-19 emergency status

After nearly three years, the Salt Lake County Health Department ended its COVID emergency status Tuesday. 
24 days ago
FILE: People line up in their cars as members of the Utah National Guard give COVID-19 swab tests a...
Eliza Pace

Gov. Cox, along with 24 other governors, call on President Biden to end Federal Public Health Emergency

Gov. Spencer Cox signed a letter with 24 other governors calling on President Joe Biden to end the federal public health emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic.
2 months ago
FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference, Feb. 1, 2022, in Miami. Gov. DeSa...
FREIDA FRISARO, Associated Press

DeSantis seeks grand jury investigation of COVID-19 vaccines

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking the state’s Supreme Court to convene a grand jury to investigate “any and all wrongdoing” with respect to the COVID-19 vaccines.
2 months ago
TRURO, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09: Kimberley Olds, NHS Pharmacy Technician, prepares the Covid-19 vaccin...
CARLA K. JOHNSON and LAURA UNGAR, Associated Press

Hospitalizations signal rising COVID-19 risk for US seniors

Coronavirus-related hospital admissions are climbing again in the United States. Older adults make up a growing share of U.S. deaths.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
White House reveals winter COVID-19 plans, more free tests