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More free at-home COVID-19 tests available as health officials urge caution over spring break

Posted at 10:02 PM, Mar 09, 2022

COVID-19 rates are much lower and tests are much easier to find now that the Omicron surge has come to an end, but experts urge people to be smart while traveling for spring break.

"It feels good because COVID is not all around us. It's still here though, and we don't want to forget that," said Dr. Marc Elieson, medical director for inpatient care at Baylor Scott and White Hillcrest.

Elieson, along with the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, said there is no way to know when or if there will be another COVID-19 surge. Luckily, there are some tools to plan ahead and keep travel plans safe.

"Avoid touching your face, nose, mouth, and eyes--you know, any of those types of things that would spread any kind of infectious disease," said public health district director LaShonda Malrey-Horne. "As well as getting tested prior to your travel."

Another wave of free federal COVID-19 tests is now available through USPS, making each household in the U.S. eligible to order an extra set of four free, rapid at-home tests.

"Personally, I have some here at home for me and my family just in case there is an exposure in the house," Malrey-Horne said.

She said having a test available in case of another surge could prove to be especially helpful, as potentially infected people wouldn't have to go to a testing site.

While Elieson and Malrey-Horne encourage people to take advantage of the free test kits, they warn not to waste the tests or to stock up on them.

To order your COVID at-home testing kits through USPS, visit the online ordering form here.