At-home COVID-19 Testing Kits Now Available

At-home COVID-19 Testing Kits Now Available

All United States residents are now eligible to receive free at-home coronavirus test kits on Tuesday, Jan. 18. The U.S. government has begun a collaboration with the U.S. Postal Service to take orders for free at-home coronavirus test kits.

To begin the process to order test kits, an individual must first visit COVIDtests.gov. The website offers information on the test kits and how to use them. Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order four at-home COVID-19 tests. Orders will usually ship in seven to 12 days.

The test kits that will be given through this service are the rapid antigen at-home tests, not the PCR tests. They can be taken anywhere and take about 30 minutes to complete. No lab drop-off is required.

The test kits will work whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms or if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines.

If you test positive for COVID-19, the website gives you a link to follow the latest CDC guidance for isolation.

After reading all the information, the website gives you a link to click on to begin your order. The site is https://special.usps.com/testkits.

Each order is limited to one order per residential address. You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to order a test kit. Orders will begin shipping in late January. The White House said it will prioritize shipments to Americans from ZIP codes that have experienced high rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths, with the first 20% of each day’s orders going to those areas.

Residents were supposed to begin ordering at-home test kits on Wednesday, Jan. 19. However, it was moved up a day.

On late Tuesday, more than 850,000 people were on the test kit website, according to https://analytics.usa.gov.

There were isolated reports Tuesday afternoon of issues relating to the website’s address verification tool erroneously enforcing the four-per-household cap on apartment buildings and other multi-unit dwellings, but it was not immediately clear how widespread the issue was.

In an interview last week, President Biden announced that the administration plans to buy one billion at-home tests for Americans and also said the White House will make high-quality masks available for free.

COVID-19 testing sites will remain open during the process. To locate a testing site, visit hhs.gov/coronavirus/community-based-testing-sites/index.html.