In an effort to encourage testing, the Biden Administration bought 1 billion COVID-19 rapid tests to give to the American people for free. There is a limit of four per household and they will ship within 7 to 12 days of ordering through the official government website (www.COVIDTests.gov)
Originally scheduled to launch Wednesday, Jan. 19, the program started a day early: Americans can now place their order for their free test kits.
Public health experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that Americans use at-home tests if they begin to have symptoms, at least five days after coming in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or are gathering indoors with a group of people who are at risk of severe disease or unvaccinated.
The tests will be mailed directly to American households and postage is covered. There is zero cost to the American people to apply and receive their tests.
The tests promote broad access and to ensure equity for all Americans, there will be a call line available to help those unable to access the website to place their orders. The administration has plans in place to work with national and local community-based organizations to support the nation’s hardest-hit and highest-risk communities when ordering kits.
Nearly $10 billion in American Rescue Plan funds were earmarked to fund testing for K-12 school districts. Another $6 billion went to cover free testing for uninsured individuals, support testing in correctional facilities, shelters for the homeless, and mental health facilities.
In addition, the Biden administration is now requiring private health insurance companies to cover at-home COVID-19 tests for free and earmarked another 10 million COVID-19 tests available for schools nationwide, each month.