US households now have the opportunity to order an additional four at-home Covid-19 tests free of cost, thanks to an updated government program. The initiative aims to improve accessibility to testing, enabling individuals to address their concerns about Covid-19 effectively.
Starting from Monday, residents across the United States can conveniently request four individual rapid antigen Covid-19 tests through the newly launched Covidtests.gov platform. For those without internet access, an alternative option is available, where they can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to place their testing order.
Earlier this year, the US government temporarily suspended the rapid test distribution program, but it has since reopened in September. As part of the program’s revival, those who have yet to place an order since the reopening can now place two orders, allowing them to receive a total of eight tests. The United States Postal Service (USPS) will commence shipping orders from November 27.
These at-home Covid-19 rapid tests are designed to be user-friendly and can be taken regardless of whether individuals exhibit symptoms. While some of the test expiry dates may seem outdated, it is worth noting that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the validity period.
To reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends testing for individuals experiencing any symptoms associated with the virus. Furthermore, testing prior to attending large events, such as concerts or conferences, is also advisable—especially for those who have yet to be fully vaccinated. Determining the appropriate course of action, such as antiviral treatment, becomes easier with the assistance of Covid-19 testing.
As reported by the CDC, there has been a recent increase in Covid-19 hospital admissions and emergency department visits after a few weeks of decline. Additionally, outpatient visits for flu-like illnesses are currently higher compared to previous seasons. The CDC also notes an increase in seasonal flu activity across most parts of the country, particularly in New Mexico, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina.
It is crucial for individuals to remain vigilant during this ongoing pandemic. The availability of free at-home Covid-19 tests offers a valuable resource for households to ensure their safety and the safety of their communities. By actively participating in testing programs and adhering to recommended guidelines, the public can contribute to mitigating the spread of both Covid-19 and the flu.
1. How can I order the free at-home Covid-19 tests?
To order the free at-home Covid-19 tests, visit Covidtests.gov and submit your request. If you do not have internet access, you can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).
2. How many tests can I order?
Each household is eligible to order up to four at-home Covid-19 tests. If you have not previously placed an order since the reopening of the program, you can place two orders, allowing you to receive a total of eight tests.
3. Do I need to have symptoms to take the rapid antigen Covid-19 tests?
No, the tests can be taken regardless of whether you have symptoms or not. They are designed to provide a convenient and accessible option for individuals concerned about Covid-19.
4. Is testing prior to attending large events recommended?
Yes, the CDC recommends testing before participating in large events, such as concerts or conferences, especially if you are not fully vaccinated. Testing can help identify and mitigate the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
5. What should I do if I test positive for Covid-19?
If you test positive for Covid-19, it is important to follow the guidance provided by health authorities. This may include self-isolation, notifying close contacts, and seeking medical attention if needed. Stay updated with the latest guidelines from the CDC and your local health department.