With the current surge of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, more and more municipalities and institutions are requiring proof of a negative test "before entering". Now you can have tests mailed to your home, free of charge.

According to the United States Government COVID-19 Test website, Americans can now order free, at-home COVID-19 tests.

Free??  Yes, free. Delivered? Yes, delivered, by our trusty United States Postal Service employees.

NPR reports that the White House will have the United States Postal Service prioritize shipments to areas in the country currently experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases. The government website had an official launch target of Wednesday, January 19, 2022, but was up and running by midday Tuesday, January 18.

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The website will allow each household to order 4 COVID-19 tests kits, with orders expected to be shipped within 7 to 12 days of being ordered.

The tests being offered are the "rapid" tests that will tell you within 30 minutes or so if you have COVID-19. You don't have to mail anything back or drop off the completed test to a lab; it's all in-home and very simple.

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The CDC website has a massive amount of information about all things COVID-related, including videos on how to use rapid, in-home tests, and how to interpret the results.

If you are currently experiencing symptoms and are in need of immediate testing, there are resources on the website to point you in the right direction, listing local testing sites.

To help control the spread of COVID-19, the White House also announced plans to give out 400 million N95 masks for free, according to NPR.

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The N95 mask, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is one of the masks that are most effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne illnesses. The administration plans to distribute the 400 million masks at no cost to you, and they will be available through pharmacies and drug stores, grocery stores, and local health centers.

Health experts are strongly urging all Americans to wear a mask when in the presence of others, social distance when possible, and to get vaccinated against COVID-19, to include the booster.

We're all in this together, so we all need to work together to minimize the spread of the disease to protect those most vulnerable, and to minimize the strain on our health care workers.