Breanna Reeves | VOICE
On January 31, San Bernardino County launched a COVID-19 Treatments and Therapeutics webpage. The page offers residents a general overview of approved therapeutic treatments such as Evusheld, a pre-exposure treatment and oral antiviral pill.
According to David Wert, San Bernardino County Public Information Officer, the county does not refer residents for treatment or track availability. Residents who seek treatment options are encouraged to speak directly to their physicians and health care providers.
The Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 Therapeutics Locator monitors public locations that have received shipments of COVID-19 therapeutics under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) authority. Those looking for treatment can view which locations have in stock a particular treatment, but may not directly contact the locations. COVID-19 treatments and therapeutics require a prescription by a licensed and authorized provider.
Residents begin to receive free at-home COVID-19 tests via USPS
This week U.S. households began receiving free COVID-19 testing kits delivered by USPS. The website, COVIDtests.gov, officially launched on January 19, allowing households to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests. According to the postal service, orders will ship between seven and 12 days.
There are some limitations to ordering the free testing kits such as only four tests are available for each residential household and there have been some reports from residents of apartment buildings with multiple units being told that tests have already been ordered through those addresses.
According to an analysis of the 2019 American Community Survey conducted by researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 9.6 percent or an estimated 11.8 million households across the U.S. have five or more people living in them. In California, that number is higher at 13.7 percent.
“In some limited cases, addresses may not be recognized as multi-family by USPS. This might result in an issue placing an order if another resident at your address has already ordered,” the website noted. Residents facing this issue can file a service request or call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).
Orders can also be delivered to residential P.O. boxes and is available to every residential address in the U.S. including Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories and overseas military and diplomatic addresses (APO/FPO/DPO).
How to report at-home COVID-19 results
As residents begin receiving at-home or over-the-counter COVID-19 tests, many are unsure of what to do with their results. At-home tests are self-tests that allow individuals to test themselves outside of a laboratory and receive results in under 20 minutes. These tests usually require an individual to take nose swabs or a cheek swab and test it.
The California Department of Public Health recommends that individuals report their positive test results. Some at-home tests include instructions on how to report results or have automatic electronic reporting. If not, the department recommends that individuals share their positive test results with their health care provider in order to receive “appropriate medical care.”
Residents can also report their COVID-19 test results using the California Community-Based At-Home Testing website. Reporting both negative and positive results is recommended to track COVID-19 rates across communities, with the results being reported to local California Health Departments.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends testing at least 5 days after your first exposure. The CDC also recommends that an individual conduct repeat testing if they believe their test gave them a false negative result or if they tested themselves too early in the infection stage. Repeat testing is when a person tests multiple times for COVID-19 or regular basis such as every few days.
FDA Approves Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday, January 31. Initially given Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in December 2020 for individuals 18 years old and older, clinical trials for the vaccine concluded that the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine was 94 percent effective against the virus in people who received two doses and who were not previously infected.
According to the FDA, the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine rebranded under the name of Spikevax. Spikevax has the same formulation as the EUA Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and can be used interchangeably with the emergency use Moderna vaccine. Under EUA Moderna COVID-19 can be administered as a two-dose vaccine, given one month apart, and as a third dose for individuals 18 years old and older and those who are identified as immunocompromised.
The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine can be administered as a single booster, at least five months after receiving initial vaccines, to individuals who received different primary vaccines such as Pfizer-BioNTech or Janssen.