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Free government COVID-19 tests start arriving in the mail, when to use those tests |

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Free government COVID-19 tests start arriving in the mail, when to use those tests

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- The free COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Tests from the government have begun arriving at homes. There are hopes this will help prevent the further spread of coronavirus.

The postal service has started delivering tests to people who ordered them last week. The at-home test is a rapid test that can give results in 15 minutes versus a PCR test. However, they are not as accurate as a PCR test so you may need to do more than one rapid test but not within the same day.

How to order your free at-home COVID-19 tests from the government

Among the growing cases are pediatric cases. There was a 78% nationwide increase in child COVID cases in the first week of January compared to the prior week, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Association.

Doctors say certain children who have asthma or any underlying respiratory issues are more at risk and could end up hospitalized if they get COVID-19.

"Children less than five years of age, we are noticing particularly with omicron. It's been settling in the upper respirarory track. Infants and children usualy have narrow passages. As a result, they can easily get some nasal obstruction as well as croupy cough," said Dr. Evelyn Montalvo Stanton, chair of pediatrics at Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV.

The rapid test doesn't always pick up asymptomatic infection especially with the omicron variant. So, doctors say if the test reads negative -- but there was definite exposure -- wait 48 hours and conduct the test again.

It's advised that adults should test one or two days after symptoms start for best results. If you get a negative test, you can test again the following day or two. If you get a positive test, there is no need to test again. The CDC recommends if a person believes they were exposed to someone with COVID, they should test as soon as symptoms occur or five days after exposure.

If you test positive, you should follow the CDC latest's guidelines and the guidelines for CCSD for students.