Get Your Free COVID-19 Test Kits Now

Older woman taking an at-home COVID-19 test
Basilico Studio Stock / Shutterstock.com

The free at-home COVID-19 tests the federal government promised Americans last week are now available for order, a day ahead of the planned launch.

According to the website, COVIDtests.gov:

“Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order #4 free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests. The tests are completely free. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days.”

To order your COVID-19 testing kits, simply click the big blue order button on COVIDtests.gov, which will take you to a short order form on the U.S. Postal Service’s website. There are no shipping charges or fees, and no credit card information is required.

The whole process takes just a minute, and the site indicates that orders — each of which includes four individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests — “will start shipping in late January.” These tests give results within 30 minutes — you don’t need to ship them to a lab for processing.

According to questions and answers on the COVIDtests.gov site, you should use a test in any of the following situations:

  • You begin having COVID-⁠19 symptoms such as fever, sore throat, runny nose or loss of taste or smell.
  • At least five days after you come into close contact with someone with COVID-⁠19.
  • Before gathering with a group of people, especially if they are at risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated.

If you need a test now, you can still visit free testing sites across the country, or purchase a test at your local pharmacy.

If you are looking elsewhere to acquire COVID-19 tests, check out these stories:

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