How to get the new free COVID test kits at home in September 2023
Households will again be able to order free COVID tests from the federal government as the colder months approach. Here is how to order the tests.
Once again, the federal government will allow households to order free home COVID-19 tests delivered by the United States Postal Service (USPS).
According to the latest data from the CDC, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 are trending upwards but remain far below the peaks seen during previous waves of the pandemic.
On Wednesday, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced that it had allocated $600 million to pay twelve domestic companies that produce COVID-19 antigen tests. This investment was made to prepare for cold and flu season, which already stresses hospital resources in the US. Starting on 25 September, households will be able to order free tests again. The tests can be ordered from covid.gov/tests.
The limit remains at four tests per household
No matter the size of the household, only four tests can be ordered at once.
This has proven to be a controversial decision that many have called unjust. Based on data taken by the US Census Bureau through the Household Pulse Survey found that of the sixty-seven million people in rental units, one in five lived in a house with five or more people. When looking at that figure based on the number that owns their home, the number was more than one in ten.
The decision to limit the number across the board, rather than sending tests by the number of people who live in that unit, has been widely criticized as it harms low-income people, inter-generational households, and homes with a higher number of roommates. The US Census Bureau has data on the number of people who live in most houses across the country, and many question why that was not used when developing the tool.
Make sure your COVID tests have not expired
The federal government is warning that those who ordered tests during previous periods should check to ensure they have not expired. The expiration dates for the tests distributed by the USPS can be found here.