With the omicron variant on the rise, President Joe Biden has plans to announce 500 million free rapid tests for Americans, increased support for hospitals under strain and a redoubling of vaccination and boosting efforts. Omicron has become the dominant strain in the US, accounting for nearly three-quarters of all new cases. Omicron has created concern in a number of US cities, with people in New York, Washington and elsewhere queuing up for tests ahead of meeting up with family members. A cornerstone of the plan is Biden’s decision for the government to purchase 500 million coronavirus rapid tests and ship them free to Americans starting in January. People will use a new website to order their tests, which will then be sent to them by U.S. mail at no charge. For the first time, the U.S. government will send free COVID-19 tests directly to Americans, after more than a year of urging by public health experts.