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Free COVID test kits from government, cases still rising – NBC Chicago

With the government’s latest round of COVID test kits due to arrive in the mail as early as this week, how can you get yours?

The first shipments are already being sent to private households in the USA

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:

First shipment in latest round of at-home COVID testing kits from government to arrive in the mail

The first shipment in the latest round of at-home COVID testing kits being sent by the government to homes across the United States arrives in mailboxes on Thursday.

Test kits are shipped free to homes, according to the United States Postal Service. These tests come in two separate packages, with four test kits in each package, the USPS says.

USPS COVID test kit: How to get your test kit in the mail

You can sign up now to receive 8 free rapid home antigen COVID tests in the mail, the federal government recently announced.

In previous rounds of test distribution, residents could only claim up to four at-home COVID test kits per household.

Test kits are shipped free to homes, according to the United States Postal Service. These tests come in two separate packages, with four test kits in each package, the USPS says.

Here’s how to sign up and have your email delivered to your home.

What will trigger the return of mask mandates in Chicago?

Chicago could soon be on high alert for COVID, but that doesn’t necessarily mean mask mandates will return immediately, the city’s top doctor said Tuesday.

While masks are “strongly recommended” across the city and cases are rising, Dr. Chicago Department of Health commissioner Allison Arwady says she’s watching a different metric to see if mandates will return.

Read more here.

‘Direction We’re Going’: Chicago Could Soon Hit High Levels of COVID: Top Doc

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the United States, Chicago’s top doctor expects the city could soon reach a “high” community level.

“Unfortunately, that’s the direction we’re headed,” said Dr. Chicago Department of Health Commissioner Allison Arwady in a Facebook Live Tuesday, calling it a “point of concern.”

Read more here.

Illinois COVID Tests: Where to Find Free Rapid PCR COVID Tests Near You

COVID cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in Illinois, with the state now averaging more than 6,000 new probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases per day.

It’s the first time the daily rate in Illinois has been this high in more than three months.

The good news is that COVID testing in Chicago and Illinois is still free in many locations. And the federal government is now offering residents twice the number of free rapid COVID antigen tests during its latest round of kit availability, according to an update from the United States Postal Service.

If you have symptoms or think you’ve been exposed, find free COVID testing near you in Chicago and Illinois for adults and children here.

Government is offering up to 8 free COVID tests per household as cases surge nationwide

The federal government is now offering residents twice the number of free rapid COVID antigen tests during its latest round of kit availability, according to an update from the United States Postal Service.

While in previous rounds of test distribution residents could only claim up to four per household, residents can now request up to eight of the tests to be delivered to their homes free of charge.

According to the government, each order can contain eight antigen COVID-19 rapid tests. These tests come in two separate packages, with four test kits in each package, according to the USPS website.

How to get yours.

How long after infection can you test positive for COVID?

If you test positive for COVID, how long could that be?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some people who contract COVID-19 can have detectable virus for up to three months, but that doesn’t mean they’re contagious.

However, when it comes to testing, the PCR tests are more likely to continue picking up the virus after infection.

Read more here.

Illinois COVID statistics: State averages more than 6,000 cases per day as hospitalizations surge

For the first time in more than three months, Illinois is averaging more than 6,000 new probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases per day, with hospitalizations also beginning to rise across the state.

The state has seen an average of 6,065 new COVID cases per day for the past week, according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Health. This is the first time the state has surpassed the 6,000 case mark since Feb. 9, when Illinois was still descending from the heights of its omicron-driven surge in the winter.

Over the past seven days, the state’s daily average of new COVID cases has risen 17.7%, according to IDPH officials. In the last month, cases have increased by 174%.

On Monday, Illinois officials reported 5,447 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, with zero new deaths reported.

You can find more data here.

FDA approves home test that can help diagnose COVID, influenza, and RSV

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a unique home testing kit that allows individuals to collect samples and have them tested for a variety of respiratory diseases, including COVID-19 and influenza.

The FDA has approved Labcorp’s Seasonal Respiratory Virus RT-PCR DTC test, according to a press release issued Monday.

These tests, which are available without a prescription, can be used by people with symptoms of a respiratory viral infection, according to the FDA.

The tests allow a person to take a nasal swab themselves at home, similar to a home COVID-19 test. Instead of receiving the results at home, these samples can be sent to Labcorp for testing.

The tests can identify and differentiate between a variety of diseases, including influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19, according to the FDA.

When are you contagious with COVID and how long should you quarantine?

COVID-19 cases have been rising across Chicago, and the city’s top doctor said the trend is likely to continue in the coming weeks, prompting questions from concerned residents.

dr Chicago Department of Health commissioner Allison Arwady says the city’s positivity rate has jumped to nearly 5% in recent weeks, and she expects the metrics to continue rising in the coming days.

Read more here.

Low, Medium, High: What CDC Community Tiers Mean and What Each Requires

What does this mean for you, given that almost every county in the Chicago area has reached “moderate community level” for COVID-19 and one Chicago suburb has reached “high” transmission levels according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines?

So what does that mean and what does it take to get to each level?

Here’s a look at the guidelines.

Tested positive for COVID and looking for treatment options? Here’s what you should know about Pfizer’s antiviral pill

With more tests positive for the coronavirus across the Chicago area, many questions are turning to how the new COVID-19 antiviral pill is treating the virus.

Pfizer’s Paxlovid pill has recently been used in several high-profile cases, including Vice President Kamala Harris.

However, as more doctors prescribe Pfizer’s powerful COVID pill, new questions about its performance are emerging, including why a small number of patients appear to relapse after taking the drug.

Here’s what we know so far.

COVID incubation period: how long should you quarantine and when are you contagious?

COVID-19 cases have been rising across Chicago, and the city’s top doctor said the trend is likely to continue in the coming weeks, prompting questions from concerned residents.

dr Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, says the city’s positivity rate has jumped to nearly 5% in recent weeks, and she expects the metrics to continue rising in the coming days.

“In this wave … we’re probably going to have more cases before we see it turn around,” she said. “And the last thing we want to do is for people to actually see that the number of hospital admissions is going up significantly.”

For those contracting COVID, there may be lingering questions. Here is the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2022 CDC COVID Guidelines: Symptoms to Watch, Duration of Quarantine, and More

As new, more contagious variants of COVID-19 spread across the United States and most of the Chicago area, rising to higher alert levels, many are wondering what to do if they experience symptoms or test positive for the virus.

If you’ve been exposed, when might symptoms appear, how long are you contagious, how long should you quarantine, and when is the best time to test?

Read more here.

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