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La. health leaders address surging demand for at-home COVID-19 testing kits

(FILE)
(FILE)
Published: Dec. 26, 2021 at 11:51 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Leaders in the Louisiana Department of Health say more people are seeking out at-home COVID-19 tests.

A health official said demand for that type of test has risen, “significantly” across the state.

It’s a nationwide trend that some experts say may be fueled by holiday travel and continued discussion about the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Last week the Biden administration announced it would make millions of at-home kits available by mail. Officials in the Biden administration are also making strides to have insurers cover the costs of at-home testing kits, and provide them free of charge to people who are uninsured.

A health department spokesperson said the state is taking steps to make sure at-home kits are, “rapidly” made available to the public.

Late Sunday, Dec. 26, the state health department noted the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 doubled compared to the prior week. Health officials said about eighty percent of those people were not fully vaccinated.

A health official said its best Louisianans take a “layered” approach to fight off exposure to the virus. That includes getting vaccinated and boosted, wearing mask indoors and when distancing from others is an issue, and working remotely when possible.

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