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White House Issues Winter COVID-19 'Preparedness Plan'

FILE - President Joe Biden in Washington.
FILE - President Joe Biden in Washington.

The White House Thursday issued what it is calling its COVID-⁠19 Winter Preparedness Plan, making free home tests and vaccinations readily available throughout the country.

In a statement, the White House said that while COVID-19 “is not the disruptive force it once was, the virus continues to evolve,” and the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows new cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all up in recent days.

The White House said in addition to free testing sites that already exist, beginning Thursday, all U.S. households can order a total of four at-home COVID-19 tests that will be mailed directly to them free.

In addition to all current testing and test distribution locations, the White House has added new programs including the distribution of free at-home tests at more than 6,500 Department of Housing and Urban Development-assisted rental housing properties serving seniors.

The statement said U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is also expanding a program to distribute free at-home tests to as many as 500 major food banks for them to distribute to people in their communities.

The White House said U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is sending a letter to all governors Thursday outlining actions they should take to be ready for increased cases and hospitalizations expected during the winter.

Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press.

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