The US federal government is stopping its initiative to provide free at-home COVID-19 examinations to American homes just as children are returning to class and fall is quickly approaching. The decision was reached as a result of a low number of test options, according to a Friday article from USA Today.
On Friday, September 2, 2022, the “order for free at-home COVID-19 exams programme will be terminated,” according to the US Postal Service’s dedicated page for at-home COVID tests, was added.
CovidTests.gov, a website the government created in January, allowed families to request four free quick antigen COVID-19 tests that were sent by the US Postal Service. In March, the website released four more free exams, and in May, it added eight more.
You can still acquire all 16 tests for free if you haven’t already, but you’ll have to move quickly. Luckily, ordering your tests simply takes two minutes. See the information below to learn how to order test kits, when they will arrive, and what to do in case of issues.
How to get free COVID-19 tests
To get your free test kits, you simply need to give the US Postal Service a small amount of information. Since both the testing and the delivery are free, you won’t be required to give any credit or debit card information. How to obtain your free test kits is provided here.
- Go to testkits.Special.USPS.com. Additionally, you can access it via covidtests.gov.
- Type in your shipment address and contact information.
- Select “Check Out Now.”
- Shipping through First Class Package Service will be used for all orders.
- Call 800-232-0233 to place your order if you are having problems accessing the website or having issues placing an order online.
How can I track my order?
Immediately after placing your order, you ought to get a confirmation email. You’ll get email updates with shipment information, such as a tracking number and an anticipated arrival date, as soon as your order ships. You’ll receive two packages in the third round, and they’ll probably arrive on different days. As such, keep an eye out for two confirmation emails with your tracking numbers.
When you get it, you may either click the tracking link or copy the tracking number and put it into the tracker on the Postal Service’s website.
How many test kits can I get?
Each residential household is entitled to three complimentary at-home quick antigen COVID-19 test rounds, for a total of 16 kits, per the USPS.
Even if you have several occupants in your home, only one person per address may order the cost-free testing.
Can I choose which brand test I get?
No, there isn’t an option to choose which brand of test you will receive. All tests are rapid antigen tests authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, like iHealth.
When will the test kits arrive?
Tests are normally sent out within seven to 12 days after an order being successfully submitted and are delivered by the USPS within one to three days of delivery.
What if I haven’t received my first or second batch of test kits?
According to the USPS, some residential addresses have had trouble being recognised by the site, particularly those for apartment complexes, multifamily dwellings, and residences attached to business premises.
You can submit a service request online or call the USPS Help Desk at 800-ASK-USPS if you’ve had trouble placing an order.
Is it OK to use a test kit that was left outside?
Manufacturers have made sure the tests are stable at a range of temperatures, including “shipping during the summer in very hot places and in the winter in very cold regions,” according to the FDA.
However, if a test is left outside in subfreezing conditions or is used right after after being brought inside from subfreezing conditions, it might be destroyed.
Rapid antigen COVID-19 test kit storage conditions should be kept between 59 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
The FDA has issued a warning on the effects that intense heat might have on COVID testing, stating that “extended exposure to high temperatures may influence the test performance,” but it also suggests that you just double-check the test line on the kit.
According to the FDA website, “you may be certain that the test is operating as it should” if the test line(s) “appear as indicated in the instructions.”
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