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President Biden tweeted that starting Dec. 15, 2022, every household can order four free at home Covid test kits by going to COVIDTests.gov. Why the free tests now? “Covid cases are rising across America as folks gather for the holidays,” the President explained.
While the free at-home Covid-19 test kits from the government had ended on Sept. 2, 2022, the Biden Administration decided to open the program up again in December.
The government initially bought 500 million Covid tests and started giving them out in January 2022. Out of those half-billion tests, the government decided to give out 350 million of them, saving the rest for a future Covid outbreak. Find out how you can order the four free Covid tests to be shipped to your house, and what other resources are available for free or cheap Covid tests.
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Each household can get 4 free Covid testing kits starting Dec. 15, 2022.
When the program started in January, people could only get two orders of four free tests for each address — or eight total per household. In May 2022, as the Omicron variants became prevalent in the U.S., the government offered another eight tests per household (or 16 total). After the program ended on Sept. 2, the government brought the program back, offering four free tests for each household starting Dec. 15, 2022. Orders will ship free starting the week of Dec. 19, 2022.
To order your free tests starting Dec. 15:
- Go to special.USPS.com/testkits or covidtests.gov, or call 800-232-0233 to order by phone.
- Enter your contact details and address information.
- Click Check Out Now.
- Verify all the information entered is accurate and click Place My Order.
- All orders will be sent via First Class Package Service in 2-3 days. Orders ship free starting the week of Dec. 19, 2022.
Your at-home Covid test kits might have an extended expiration date.
Don’t throw away your expired at-home Covid test yet — the FDA might have changed the expiration date.
The FDA says not to use expired Covid tests because the test results can be inaccurate — indicating that you don’t have the virus when you do, and vice versa. But the FDA can extend the shelf life of at-home Covid tests after it’s gone through more analysis.
If the expiration date on your test is extended, the test manufacturer may send a notice to the email they have on file. But if you don’t get one, or if you’re generally curious, you can check the List of Authorized At-Home OTC Covid-19 Diagnostic Tests to see if the date has changed. Just the expiration column to check the date.
There are still plenty of places offering free or low-cost Covid testing.
Don’t panic — there are still a lot of resources out there for free in-person Covid testing. Select pharmacies, health, and community centers still offer on-site Covid testing at no cost — even for uninsured people.
To find a Covid testing center near you, go to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website and enter your state. But lots of these pharmacies offer free or low-cost testing:
- Walmart (Quest Diagnostics)
You can find at-home Covid tests for less than $25 a piece at Amazon and Walmart.
If you buy at-home COVID tests, you won’t have to break the bank. You can find tests for under $25 at Amazon and Walmart.
At-Home Covid Testing Kits at Amazon:
At-Home Covid Testing Kits at Walmart:
Make sure you’re not using Ellume’s Covid test — it has been recalled by the FDA.
If you have an Ellume test you bought prior to the product recall, the FDA’s instructions are to find the “lot number,” which is on the sticker on the side of the Ellume test carton. You can find a list of recalled lot numbers here — if the number on your carton is a match, don’t use it.