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Low- To No-Cost Resources to Prevent Illness

Our epidemiology team's favorite low- to no-cost resources to keep yourself and your loved ones well.

If COVID cases are high or expected to rise:

  • Order free COVID tests here. Every U.S. household is now entitled to a total of eight, which are mailed directly to your house.
  • Get free N95 masks from your local pharmacy. Depending on availability, every adult is entitled to three free masks. Wearing an N95 in crowded public places blocks 95% of respiratory particles that can carry viruses that cause COVID, flu etc.
  • If anyone in your household is older than 50, or is older than 12 and immunocompromised (and it's been at least four months since they received their primary COVID vaccine series), consider a second COVID booster shot. As of March 31, 2022, the main COVID strain circulating in the U.S. is the Omicron subvariant, BA.2. Getting an additional booster dose can increase protection against symptomatic infection to 70%.
  • Know what to do if someone in your household tests positive for COVID. If the person who tests positive is immunocompromised, consider calling their primary doctor to see if either Molnupiravir or Paxlovid are good options for early treatment. Both have been granted emergency use authorization by the FDA, and can be used to prevent severe COVID infection in people who are most at-risk. For everyone, immunocompromised or generally healthy, here are guidelines from the CDC on what to do about home isolation.

If COVID cases are low but other seasonal illnesses (ex. flu, RSV) are high or rising:

  • (Still) get free N95 masks from your local pharmacy. Depending on availability, every adult is entitled to three free masks. Wearing an N95 in crowded public places blocks 95% of respiratory particles that can carry viruses that cause COVID, flu etc.
  • When possible, plan errands and outings for off-peak hours. Shopping early (8AM) or late (8PM) at your local grocery store is a great way to avoid crowds.
  • Get a humidifier (for your home or your child's classroom). The virus that causes flu has a harder time traveling in warmer, humid air.

Why trust Kinsa?

All of Kinsa's content is reviewed by a clinician and a team of epidemiologists. We understand that news sources can be contentious these days, so we pull information entirely from scientific journals like Nature, The Lancet etc. and academic institutions like Johns Hopkins and the American Medical Association.