There is good news on the COVID-19 front. According to information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of daily cases, hospitalizations and, above all, deaths are decreasing throughout the country. The steady decline led the CDC to relax its masking guidelines last week, bringing us ever closer to a return to our pre-pandemic lifestyles. That said, we’re not out of the woods yet. The virus is still part of our daily lives and will likely remain so for some time. That means staying home when you’re not feeling well and testing yourself for COVID when it happens so you can take the necessary precautions to avoid spreading it to family and friends.
Where to Find COVID Tests in Indiana
Many pharmacies, such as CVS, Walgreens, and Rite-Aid sell a variety of home tests that range in price from $9.99 for a basic antigen test to $124.99 for a PCR test. Drive-through testing sites are also available at many of these locations and others in the region. However, the federal government is also making them available to households for free, and as President Biden announced during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, they are ready to expand this program.
When the administration first announced the at-home testing program shortly after the start of the year, residents were limited to four tests to avoid hoarding and ensure that anyone who wanted one could get one. Once they have been used, you will either need to find a local pharmacy to purchase one or make an appointment to be tested. From Monday, thanks to the extension, you will be able to order four additional tests, whether or not you have used the first four you ordered.
How to order a COVID test from the federal government
Ordering a new set of tests is actually quite easy, given that we’re talking about government, where the simplest of tasks can sometimes be convoluted with unnecessary steps and paperwork.
To order your new set of tests, visit COVIDTests.gov and click the big, light blue “Order Free Home Tests” button. This will redirect you to the United States Postal Service website (they are responsible for delivering the tests to your home). Fill in your name and address in the form provided and click the “Order Now” button to the right of the form.
If you need help ordering, you can call 1-800-232-0233 for assistance. If you have difficulty hearing or are deaf, a TTY line is available at 1-888-720-7489.
According to the COVID Test website, your order will arrive between seven and 12 days after you place your order. So don’t wait until you start showing symptoms to order. By the time they arrive at your home, the disease will likely have run its course. Order them now to have them in case you start to feel sick.
How to use a home COVID test
My wife and son both contracted COVID over the Christmas holidays, and luckily I was able to find tests at a CVS site in Evansville for me and my daughter. Until then I had only been tested once before due to close contact with someone I work with and that was by a medical professional at a drive-thru clinic who pressed the cotton swab so deep in my nostrils that I think they may have touched my brain. I haven’t had it yet
privilege the opportunity to try to take my own sample by sticking a cotton swab in my nose.
Fortunately, home antigen testing doesn’t require you to do a lobotomy with a cotton swab to get a good sample. As shown in the video below, you can get what you need with a simple twist around the lower parts of your nostril.[Source: COVIDTests.gov]
Answers to 25 common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine
Vaccinations against COVID-19 began being administered in the United States on December 14, 2020. The rapid rollout came just over a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from practical – how will I get vaccinated? – to science – how do these vaccines even work?
Keep reading to find answers to 25 common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.