COVID-19 Status and Links

COVID Testing

COVID test kits are now being provided for free by the U.S. federal government and can be ordered for delivery by the U.S. postal service to every U.S. residence at this link.

Health Insurers are also required to reimburse the documented cost of any test kit bought "over the counter" or online by individuals. Kaiser Permanente has its claim form here.  

For the latest local vaccine news and vaccination site locations see the COVID Vaccine tab of the SUP website.

COVID Surges on Delta Variant

The highly transmissable Delta variant of the coronavirus has caused a sudden nationwide increase in cases, just as vaccination rates stalled between 25 and 70 percent, depending on region. The surge is most dangerous for the unvaccinated. The vaccine has protected Americans from both infection and severe illness with amazing effectiveness. Yet even people who are vaccinated are not entirely free from the risk of a mild Delta infection. Accordingly, CDC now says that together with some transmission risk for the vaccinated, masks are advisable at any indoor public gathering. Above all, vaccination is the single most effective thing a person can do to both stay individually safe and fight the surge.   


A premier resource for information on the statistics of the coronavirus pandemic (among lots of other information) is the Johns Hopkins University website accessed here:

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

For local vaccine news see the COVID Vaccine tab of the SUP website.


The California COVID-19 Dashboard and Resource Center including statistics, news, county-by-county analysis, videos and guidance is here:

COVID19 in California

Please don't forget the importance of getting a regular flu shot this year. Doctors, medical experts, and public health professionals have urged widespread inoculation for influenza, a far more common illness than COVID-19. Here's a good resource for all things related to flu shots:


Seniors should take special care for their health during this troubling season. Here is a seasonal health fact sheet and resource guide.


The Cyber Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), part of the Department of Homeland Security, has played a pivotal role in identifying the critical national resources and infrastructure that need the protection and support of government during the pandemic. Chief among these are essential workers, and very highly ranked among them are transportation workers such as merchant mariners. In fact, those that support the supply chains of the economy rank only just below medical professionals and first responders. CISA laid out the importance and the specifics of their strategy to support maritime workers on the front lines of the supply chain several time in this updated memorandum and report on critical workforce infrastructure.

CISA guidance on critical workforce infrastructure

Medicare Resources

SUP Pensioners and future pensioners should take care to understand the Medicare benefit generally available after age 65. There are many aspects of the program to understand. Among the most important is what Medicare doesn't pay for and how that can be covered. The U.S. government's official Medicare site is thorough and comprehensive and it can be accessed at

The Medicare Plans site is an excellent and comprehensive resource that is easy to navigate, covers the major questions, has updated costs, and doesn't try to sell you anything. It can be accessed at