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COVID-19: What You Need to Know

updated September 2022

State Department of Health Launches “Long COVID” Website

While most people with COVID-19 get better within a couple of weeks, some continue to have symptoms or develop new ones after their initial recovery.

Click here to visit the Department of Health’s new website on long COVID. The webpage is also available in an audio format. Click below to listen to a frequently asked questions and answers video:

COVID-19 Boosters

The updated (bivalent) boosters are called “bivalent” because they protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5.

Previous boosters are called “monovalent” because they were designed to protect against the original virus that causes COVID-19. They also provide some protection against Omicron, but not as much as the updated (bivalent) boosters. The virus that causes COVID-19 has changed over time. The different versions of the virus that have developed over time are called variants. Learn more about variants of the COVID-19 virus.

Two COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer and Moderna, have developed updated (bivalent) COVID-19 boosters. Visit the CDC website to learn more.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Visit the CDC online to find additional information on community levels and prevention steps by county :

The CDC continues to urge everyone to use preventative, daily routines that will help keep you and your loved ones healthy:

  • Clean your hands often.
  • Avoid close contact (keep socially distant, stay 6 feet apart).
  • Wear a mask in public settings and anywhere you are around other people.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces daily.

Visit the CDC for more information:

Medicare Authorizes Free COVID-19 Tests

On 4/4/22, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that effective immediately, Medicare recipients can receive up to 8 over-the-counter at-home COVID-19 test kits at no cost. The free test kits had already been available to the rest of the population covered by insurance, except those on Medicare. Remember, some test kits are packaged with more than one in a box.

National pharmacy chains participating in this initiative include Alberstons Companies, Inc., Costco Pharmacy, CVS, Food Lion, Giant Food, The Giant Company, Hannaford Pharmacies, H-E-B Pharmacy, Hy-Vee Pharmacy, Kroger Family of Pharmacies, Rite Aid Corp., Stop & Shop, Walgreens, and Walmart. Other local pharmacies may also be participating, so just check ahead of time. Also, you do not need to be a current customer to receive the kits at a participating pharmacy.

This change in policy by CMS is another example of what RPEA does for you. To see media coverage of RPEA’s action click here.

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