Staying healthy

COVID-19: The latest on strains, testing kits, and vaccines

Read the latest data and information on COVID-19 and see best practices for avoiding it.
April 30, 2024   |   2 minute read
Adult male riding public transportation wearing a face mask

While the national emergency has subsided, the World Health Organization still considers COVID-19 a pandemic. JN.1 is the latest variant and now the dominant strain in the United States, representing more than 60 percent of COVID-19 cases. Similar to other variants, symptoms include sore throat, congestion, nausea, and fatigue. People with underlying health conditions or who are 65 and up remain at high risk of getting severely ill.

Testing kits

For the moment, the United States government has discontinued its distribution of free in-home COVID-19 test kits. However, in-home COVID-19 testing kits are readily available for sale at most pharmacies. 


For JN.1 and other variants, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have proven to be effective in preventing COVID-19 infection, or for many people, minimizing symptoms. As a LifeWise member, your cost for mRNA vaccines from either Pfizer or Moderna is zero. 

Treatment for COVID-19 is also covered in your LifeWise plan. Costs for treatment will vary according to your plan cost shares and deductibles.  

Healthy habits

As we return to a “normal” lifestyle, it’s a good idea to keep up to date on vaccinations and to follow these best practices for avoiding or managing COVID-19.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. 
  • Wear a facemask that covers your mouth and nose in crowded or indoor environments.
  • Avoid people who are sick (with anything).
  • Keep your home or work environment clean and disinfected. 
  • Monitor your health and keep test kits handy. 
  • Stay in touch with your primary care provider (PCP). To view your designated PCP, log in to your online account. 
  • If you do get sick, call your PCP immediately to start treatment. Isolate yourself from people. 
  • If the symptoms are severe and you’re having trouble breathing, call 911.  

Learn more about LifeWise, COVID-19, and you on our coronavirus page.

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