For the latest news and information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.
Such asWith the fall season approaching, the US federal government is suspending its program to send free home COVID-19 tests to American homes. USA Today first reported Friday that the decision was made due to a limited supply of evidence.
Over the weekend, the US Postal Service page dedicated to home COVID-19 testing added an announcement that the “free home COVID-19 testing program will be suspended on Friday, September 2, 2022.”
In January 2022, the government launched CovidTests.gov, a website that allowed households to request four free rapid COVID-19 antigen tests shipped by the US Postal Service. The site added four more free tests in March and then another eight more in May.
If you haven’t received any trials, you can still get all 16 free trials, but you’ll need to act quickly. Fortunately, it only takes two minutes to order your tests. See below to find out how to get test kits, when they will arrive, and what to do if you have problems.
How to get free COVID-19 tests
You just need to provide the US Postal Service with a few pieces of information to get your free test kits. You will not be asked to provide any credit or debit card details, as both proofing and shipping are free. Here’s how to get your free test kits.
1. Visit special.USPS.com/testkits. You can also get there through covidtests.gov.
two. Enter your contact details and shipping information.
3. Click check now.
4. Verify that your data is correct and select place my order.
All orders will be shipped via First Class Parcel Service.
People who cannot access the website or who are having trouble ordering online can call 800-232-0233 to request their free trials.
How can I track my order?
Once you place your order, you should receive a confirmation email. When your package ships, you’ll receive email notifications providing shipping updates, including a tracking number and estimated delivery date. Please note that for the third round, you will receive two packages that will likely arrive on different days, so look for two confirmation emails with your tracking numbers.
Once you receive it, you can click the tracking link or copy and paste the tracking number into the tracker on the Postal Service’s website.
How many test kits can I get?
According to the USPS, each residential household is eligible for three rounds of rapid in-home COVID-19 antigen tests, for a total of 16 kits.
Only one person per address will be able to order free tests, even if you have multiple people living in your household.
Can I choose which test brand to receive?
No, there is not an option to choose which test brand you will receive. All tests are rapid antigen tests authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, such as iHealth.
When will the test kits arrive?
Proofs typically ship within seven to 12 days of successful order placement and are delivered by the USPS within one to three days of shipment.
What if I haven’t received my first or second batch of test kits?
The USPS says its site has had some difficulty recognizing certain residential addresses, especially apartment buildings, multi-family homes, and residences connected to commercial properties.
If you’ve had trouble placing an order, you can submit a service request online or call the USPS Help Desk at 800-ASK-USPS.
Is it okay to use a test kit that was left outside?
According to the FDA, the manufacturers have ensured that the tests remain stable at various temperatures, “including shipping during the summer in very hot regions and in the winter in very cold regions.”
But a test can be damaged if it is left outdoors in sub-zero temperatures or if it is used immediately after being brought inside from sub-zero temperatures.
The ideal temperature for storing the COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kits is between 59 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
The FDA has warned of the effect of extreme heat on COVID tests, saying “prolonged exposure to high temperatures may affect test performance,” but also recommends simply confirming the test line on the kit.
“While the test line[s] appears as described in the instructions, you can be confident that the test is working as it should,” says the FDA site.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.