Government resumes free COVID-19 test distribution


While the program has been on pause since May, officials are reinstating it just ahead of cold and flu season

Starting on Monday, September 25, consumers will once again be able to order four free COVID-19 test kits. 

The program for free tests ended back in May of this year when the virus was officially no longer considered to be a public health emergency and the supply of tests was running low.

Now, the Biden Administration has invested $600 million in a dozen different test manufacturers across the United States, and the program will officially reopen on September 25. 

“Manufacturing COVID-19 tests in the United States strengthens our preparedness for the upcoming fall and winter seasons, reduces our reliance on other countries, and provides good jobs to hard-working Americans,” said Dawn O’Connell, assistant secretary for preparedness and response. 

“The Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response’s (ASPR) investments in these domestic manufacturers will increase the availability of these tests in the future.” 

Detecting the new variants

Along with new boosters to tackle the new COVID-19 variants, the latest version of these tests, which will be available to order from, are also designed to detect the most recent strain of the virus. 

Because of this, it’s important that consumers use them in a timely fashion. Experts are encouraging consumers to use this latest batch of free tests before the end of the year. 

Each box will have clear instructions on how to administer the tests, as well as expiration dates and how to see if your test has an extended expiration. 

It’s also important to note that you may want to hold on to any old tests you have sitting around at home. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has created a list of all the at-home tests and their extended expiration dates so consumers know what to save and what to get rid of. 

All tests will be mailed through the USPS starting October 2, and consumers can leave their email addresses when placing their orders to receive shipping updates on their test kits. When your order ships, you’ll receive an email with a tracking number and estimated delivery date. 

Each household will be limited to four tests per residential address, and consumers can place their orders starting on September 25 here

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