Free Home COVID-19 Tests Now Available to Order via USPS

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Widespread testing for COVID-19 just took a huge step forward with the federal government announcing the availability of free at-home rapid antigen tests that provide results within 30 minutes.

According to the official website, every home in the US is now eligible to order four free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests. The tests are completely free of charge and orders will generally ship in 7-12 days via the US Postal Service.

The tests available for order:

  • Are rapid antigen at-home tests, not PCR
  • Can be taken anywhere
  • Give results within 30 minutes (no lab drop-off required)
  • Work whether or not you have COVID-⁠19 symptoms
  • Work whether or not you are up to date on your COVID-⁠19 vaccines
  • Are also referred to self-tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests

Order your tests now so you have them when you need them!

See the FAQ below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can order tests as part of this program?

Tests are available for every residential address in the U.S., including U.S. Territories and overseas military and diplomatic addresses (APO/FPO/DPO).

How can I order tests and when?

Tests can be ordered online at COVIDtests.gov. Tests will usually ship within 7-12 days of ordering.

To place an order, all you need is your name and residential address. No ID, credit card, or health insurance information is required. You may also share your email address to get updates on your order.

Is there a limit to how many tests I can order?

Yes. To promote broad access, the initial program will only allow 4 free individual tests per residential address.

Can I order more tests if I live in a large or multigenerational household?

No. To promote broad access, the initial program will only allow #44 free individual tests per residential address.

There are numerous other options to get tested for free, including over 20,000 free testing sites across the country. If you have health insurance, your insurance will also cover the cost of over-the-counter, at-home tests (up to 8 at-home tests per month for each person on your plan).

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Can Americans living outside of the U.S. request these free tests?

Tests are available for every residential address in the U.S., including U.S. Territories and overseas military and diplomatic addresses (APO/FPO/DPO).

Can I choose what type or brand of test I get?

All tests distributed as part of this program are FDA-authorized at-home rapid antigen tests. You will not be able to choose the brand you order as part of this program.

When will I get my tests and how will they be delivered?

These tests will be delivered in the mail through the U.S. Postal Service. Tests will typically ship within 7-12 days of ordering.

All orders within the continental United States will be sent through First Class Package Service. Shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. Territories, and overseas military and diplomatic addresses (APO/FPO/DPO) will be sent through Priority Mail.

Will I be able to track when my order status?

Yes. There is an option for you to provide an email address to receive email notifications with shipping updates.

Once your order is shipped, you will receive an email with an estimated delivery date and a tracking number. You can track the status of your delivery on USPS.com.

All orders within the continental United States will be sent through First Class Package Service. Shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. Territories, and overseas military and diplomatic addresses (APO/FPO/DPO) will be sent through Priority Mail.

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Can I pick up my tests somewhere or have them held at my local Post Office instead of getting them shipped to my home?

No. This program is designed to send free tests to your home through the mail.

Who do I contact if I ordered my tests but they have not been delivered?

To get help with a delivery issue, please contact USPS.

Will my tests come with instructions on how to use them?

Yes. Tests will have instructions on how to use them.

When should I use my tests?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you take an at-home test:

  • If you begin having COVID-⁠19 symptoms like fever, sore throat, runny nose, or loss of taste or smell, or
  • At least 5 days after you come into close contact with someone with COVID-⁠19, or
  • When you’re going to gather with a group of people, especially those who are at risk of severe disease or may not be up to date on their COVID-⁠19 vaccines.

For more on when to use at-home tests, see the latest CDC self-testing guidance.

Source: Get free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests — US Government
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Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom is CEO and "Blogger in Chief" of SnackSafely.com.

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