White House to Fight Omicron With Free COVID Tests

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White House to Fight Omicron With Free COVID TestsBy Robert Preidt and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters

TUESDAY, Dec. 21, 2021 (HealthDay Information)

President Joe Biden plans to announce his newest battle plan for preventing the formidable Omicron variant on Tuesday, with measures to incorporate distributing 500 million free fast COVID checks to the general public, opening new federal testing websites, sending out lots of of federal vaccinators, and offering 1,000 navy medical personnel to bolster beleaguered hospitals.

The measures, lots of which won’t happen till January, have been outlined in a fact sheet from the White Home.

An internet site might be created the place folks can request checks be despatched to their houses, however the checks will not be accessible till January, as Biden plans to invoke the Protection Manufacturing Act to speed up manufacturing of COVID testing.

Three weeks in the past, Biden introduced his winter pandemic strategy, pledging that 150 million Individuals with personal medical health insurance would quickly be capable of get reimbursed for at-home COVID checks. He additionally mentioned there could be improved entry to booster pictures and introduced new testing necessities for worldwide travelers.

However because the first U.S. Omicron case was reported on Dec. 1, the extremely contagious variant has swiftly develop into the dominant variant within the nation, accounting for 73% of new infections last week, in accordance with the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

Even when the Omicron variant finally ends up inflicting much less extreme illness, the explosion in circumstances means it’s nonetheless doable that hospitals will develop into overwhelmed, specialists have mentioned.

“That is the large concern,” mentioned Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer of the Affiliation of State and Territorial Well being Officers, instructed The New York Occasions. “If there are lots of people getting sick, even when solely a small portion of them are getting severely unwell, that would nonetheless be an enormous variety of folks.”

One other skilled mentioned that testing has develop into paramount.

“We now have to acknowledge the truth that sadly, with a heavy heart, the virus is in cost and we have to take again management, and the one manner to do this as a society is to check and isolate, take a look at and isolate, repeat, repeat, repeat,” Mara Aspinall, an skilled in medical diagnostics at Arizona State College, instructed the Occasions.

Biden was himself uncovered to the coronavirus late final week however has since examined destructive, White Home officers mentioned Monday, the Occasions reported. With Individuals now anxious about their holiday travel plans, he’ll attempt on Tuesday to reassure the nation whereas reminding folks that vaccination and booster pictures stay the perfect safety in opposition to the Omicron variant.

Biden will say that if persons are vaccinated and observe different social distancing pointers, together with sporting masks in public locations, “they need to really feel comfy celebrating Christmas and the vacations” with their households, a White Home official mentioned, the Occasions reported.

Some are involved that the White Home hasn’t urged folks to do issues comparable to cancel journey plans and keep away from public transportation, and the Biden administration can also be making an attempt to keep away from speak of lockdowns.

“This isn’t a speech about locking the nation down,” White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki instructed reporters on Monday, the Occasions reported. “It is a speech outlining and being instantly clear with the American folks about the advantages of being vaccinated, the steps we will take to extend entry, enhance testing, and the dangers posed to unvaccinated people.”

Extra data

Go to the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration for extra on COVID vaccines.

SOURCE: White Home, reality sheet, Dec. 21, 2021; The New York Occasions

MedicalNews

Copyright © 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.



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