The U.S. government is providing four free COVID-19 tests to every household in the United States.
“Every household in the U.S. is eligible to order an additional four free at-home tests beginning November 20th. If you have not ordered any tests this fall, you may place two orders for a total of eight tests.” wrote the US government on the COVID.gov website.
“Your order of COVID tests is completely free – you don’t even pay for shipping,” the government noted. According to ABC NewsThe government is offering the free COVID tests ahead of the Christmas holidays and due to the expected possible surge in virus cases over the winter.
Here’s what you need to know:
The government says it is trying to provide COVID-19 testing to “underserved” communities
The government has a button to Order the tests on the website.
“Need help ordering your home tests? Call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489),” the page reads.
“The U.S. government will continue to make COVID-19 testing available to uninsured individuals and underserved communities through existing outreach programs. Please contact an HRSA-funded health center or Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT) site near you to learn how to access low-cost or free COVID-19 testing provided by the federal government “will be,” it continues.
According to ABC News, the government previously required insurance companies to offer eight free tests per month, but that requirement has been eliminated.
ABC News reported that the first four tests were offered in September and the November offering includes an additional four tests. Since September, “approximately 14.5 million households have ordered tests and a total of 58 million tests have been shipped,” ABC News reported.
The free tests are designed to be carried out at home
The website button takes you to a page on the US Postal Service website. “Each order includes #4 individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests (COVIDTests.gov provides additional details on home testing, including extended shelf life and updated expiration dates),” that page states.
“If an order has not been placed for your address since the program reopened on September 25, 2023, you can place No. 2 orders now. Orders will ship free starting the week of November 27, 2023,” the site says.
The page includes a simple form for your name and address and confirms that these are free when you click the “Proceed to Checkout” button.
The four tests are “individual antigen Covid-19 rapid tests”. according to CNN.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends“Testing can be helpful even if you have no symptoms or have recently been exposed to COVID-19, such as before an event or while visiting someone at higher risk.” Test as close to the time of the event as possible (at least within 1-2 days) so you can make informed decisions about your health and your risk of spreading COVID-19 to others.”
You can also order the four free tests via the CDC website.
The CDC recommends: “Any positive COVID-19 test means the virus has been detected and you have or have recently had an infection.” Isolate yourself and take precautions, including wearing a high-quality mask or respirator, to protect others in your To protect the environment from infection. Tell people you have recently been in contact with that they may have been exposed.”
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Jessica McBride is a news reporter who covers breaking news, politics and crime for Heavy. She is a former reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Waukesha Freeman newspapers in Wisconsin and is a senior lecturer in journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. More about Jessica McBride