HealthDay News — President Joe Biden plans to announce a new round of measures to protect Americans against the spread of coronavirus variants on Thursday.
The strategy will include making rapid at-home COVID-19 tests free for more people, extending rules on mask wearing on planes and other modes of transport, launching public awareness campaigns on vaccinations and booster shots, starting family mobile vaccination clinics, and implementing tougher testing requirements for travelers arriving in the country.
“Free and highly available rapid tests would be a game-changer,” said Charity Dean, a former California health official and CEO of the Public Health Company, The Washington Post reported. “If we had rapid tests at every door for every school, every movie theater, any person can go and get them — just like they can in many other countries — it would enable people to have personal responsibility and know when they’re infectious.”
Under Biden’s new plan, Americans covered by private health insurance would be reimbursed for buying rapid, at-home COVID-19 test kits. As part of the overall strategy, it is also expected that a rule requiring travelers to wear masks on airplanes, trains, and buses and at airports and transit stations that was set to expire in January will be extended until mid-March, according to The Post.
The measures, which Biden is set to formally announce at the National Institutes of Health later on Thursday, will enable businesses and schools to remain open while keeping people safe, according to the White House.