Free at-home COVID tests from the US government are back. Here’s how to get them


Every American is eligible to receive a free kit with four tests.

The Biden administration this week relaunched the website where Americans can once again order a free at-home COVID test.

Here’s how to order tests and why you shouldn’t throw out old tests.

How to Order a Free Covid Testing Kit Through USPS

Go to COVID.gov/tests and you’ll see instructions to go to a website operated by the US Postal Service (USPS) to order the kit that comes with four tests.

You don’t have to pay for shipping. Simply provide your name and address to place an order.

The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning that government employees should never call, text or email Americans for information about getting tested. Credit card information, bank account information and social security numbers are not required to place an order.

If you live in a building or multi-unit residence or with roommates, consider putting your apartment number before your street address to avoid receiving an error message that the address has already been used. .

How long will it take for the free COVID testing kits to arrive?

The test kit will arrive approximately one week after the order is placed, but may take longer due to shipping delays.

If you would like email confirmation and USPS delivery updates, you can enter your email address when placing an order.

Why not throw them out if they are past their expiration date

Some test boxes may come with an expiration date that has passed but the Food and Drug Administration warns against throwing them away.

Earlier in the pandemic, COVID testing kits were typically produced with a shelf life of about four to six months, experts said, because it was unknown how long they would remain effective.

However, the FDA extended the expiration dates based on additional data from manufacturers.

To check the extended expiration date, visit the FDA webpage for home tests, which indicates brands that have an extended expiration date and provides a PDF for each test with the new expiration dates.

You can find the lot number near the expiration date on the package, and then check the PDF to see if it has one of those dates.

Where else can I get free COVID tests?

Since the public health emergency ended on May 11 this year, access to free testing has decreased. However, there are still some ways to access the free trial.

People who are uninsured — as long as they have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID — can visit the CDC website, which lists sites for free testing at Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT) locations. Does.

Free trials may also vary by geographic location. For example, in New York City, free testing is available at NYC Health + hospital locations and community care clinics. Free rapid tests are also available at public libraries.

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