How to get your free COVID-19 tests by mail

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The initial shipment of home COVID tests is limited to four per household.

Sarah Tew/CNET

As the highly contagious variant of omicron spreads, home COVID-19 test kits have become very popular and very hard to find in many places. To ease the pressure, the U.S. government is now offering free home COVID-19 test kits through its website at COVIDtests.gov.

You can order the tests in less than two minutes – just provide your contact details and delivery address.

The US Postal Service has announced that it will begin shipping the free tests in late January. These tests may not help you today, but it’s worth ordering them for the continuous omicron wave and any future outbreaks. Test kits are available to those living in the United States and its territories.

Here’s how to order your free COVID-19 tests today and what to do if you run into trouble. To find out more, here what we know about home testing kits and how to pay for at-home COVID tests with your FSA or HSA.


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How to get your free COVID-19 tests

You just need to provide the USPS with some information to get your free test kits. You will not be asked to provide your credit or debit card details as testing and delivery are free.

1. Visit special.USPS.com/testkits. You can also get there via covidtests.gov.

2. Enter your contact details and shipping information.

3. Click on Proceed to checkout.

4. Check that your information is correct and select Place my order.

The USPS said it will begin shipping COVID-19 test kits in late January, so keep an eye on your mailbox for your delivery. All orders will be shipped via First Class Parcel Service.

The Biden administration said it would have a phone number that people without internet access could use to place an order. This phone number is not yet listed on the ordering website.

How can I track my order?

Once your order has been placed, you should receive a confirmation email. When your package ships, you will receive email notifications providing you with shipping updates, including a tracking number and estimated delivery date.

You can either click on the tracking link or copy and paste the tracking number into the USPS website tracker.

Home Covid-19 rapid test kit

Get your free COVID-19 test kits now.

Sarah Tew/CNET

How many COVID-19 test kits can I get?

The USPS said every residential household is eligible for four free rapid home COVID-19 antigen tests. This means that only one person per address will be able to place an order for the free tests – even if you have more than four people living in your home.

Can I choose the test brand I want?

No, there is no option to choose the test brand you want. All tests sent by mail will be rapid home antigen tests authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.

What are the issues with accessing free COVID test kits?

During Tuesday’s soft launch, it appeared that the site was having trouble recognizing certain addresses, particularly if a person lived in an apartment building, multi-family home, or residence connected to commercial property. This problem continued Wednesday morning.

“I live in a multi-family home, so the USPS says it’s already been ordered by my neighbors,” a resident of Astoria, Queens complained on Facebook. “How can I get around this? »

The Postal Service said addresses not registered as multi-unit buildings can cause difficulties placing orders, CNBC reported. Some users have reported that adding an apartment number in the main address line, rather than the apartment number section, helped them order.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said White House and USPS computer experts are “working hard to make this a success.”

“Every website launch, in our view, involves risk,” she told reporters on Tuesday. “We can’t guarantee there won’t be a bug or two.”

The USPS has also launched a site to order COVID kits. Depending on the service, those still having trouble placing orders should file a service request online or call 800-ASK-USPS.

For more information, read learn more about home COVID test kits. Also, here’s the latest on the Army’s efforts to develop a vaccine against all variants of COVID-19 and future coronaviruses.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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