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More at-home COVID tests available from federal government

COVID tests
Posted at 6:23 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 16:45:58-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A third round of at-home COVID-19 tests is available through the federal government.

The mailed tests can be obtained through USPS and have been increased to 8 tests.

It only takes a couple of minutes to complete the USPS form to receive COVID tests.

The availability comes as COVID-19 is increasing across the country, including in Tennessee. In the past 10 days, the statewide new COVID cases have doubled to about 1,200 total.

The increase is still a relatively low number of cases compared to the several peaks the state has seen. Also, Vanderbilt infectious disease expert Dr. William Schaffner believes the pandemic has turned into an endemic.

"I think that we should recognize that COVID in some form is going to be with us for quite some time, years perhaps," said Dr. Schaffner. "You can see that the virus has become a little less virulent, it's less apt to produce severe disease. That's omicron and its variants. It's still very very highly contagious."

Schaffner credits the vaccines for the reduction in symptoms and overall hospitalizations. However, he still thinks people who are at-risk should take precautions, especially if they think they could be exposed to the virus.

Testing sites in Nashville have decreased. The site off Charlotte Avenue closed in late April. Schaffner believes there could be more positive tests, but at-home tests are not commonly reported.