More free COVID-19 tests from the government are available for home delivery through the mail

by Chloe Baker
COVID-19 tests

The U.S. government has initiated a new phase of distributing complimentary COVID-19 tests for home use, accessible via an online ordering system. In preparation for the anticipated increase in cases during the winter holidays, households are eligible to receive four additional at-home virus tests. This offer is particularly available to those who did not avail themselves of the four-test package offered in September, with the opportunity now to request up to eight tests starting from Monday through the official website, COVIDtests.gov. These tests will be delivered at no cost by the U.S. Postal Service.

This distribution coincides with the onset of flu season and a noted rise in Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) incidents in certain regions of the country. Although COVID-19 hospitalizations escalated this fall, they have recently stabilized. Over 1 million fatalities in the U.S. have been attributed to COVID-19. However, widespread immunity from vaccinations and previous infections has resulted in comparatively lower case numbers this year than in previous years.

In related news, some hospitals are experiencing strain due to RSV, prompting U.S. officials to release additional vaccines for newborns.

Notably, this latest provision of free COVID-19 nasal swab tests occurs as it marks the first winter since the pandemic’s onset where insurance companies are not mandated to cover their cost. These at-home tests now average a cost of $11, as per the analysis by health research organization KFF.

The Food and Drug Administration approved new versions of the COVID-19 vaccine in September, aimed at enhancing protection against a variant of the omicron virus, XBB.1.5. These updated vaccines, which replace the original strain-focused and earlier omicron variant-targeted vaccines, are recommended for individuals aged six months and above. Despite this, the uptake of these vaccines has been less than anticipated.

Since the pandemic began three years ago, U.S. taxpayers have invested billions of dollars in the development of COVID-19 tests, vaccines, and treatments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about COVID-19 tests

Can Americans order free COVID-19 tests for home delivery?

Yes, Americans can order additional free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery through the U.S. government’s initiative. Each household can secure up to eight tests if they did not order in September.

What is the purpose of the U.S. government offering more COVID-19 tests?

The U.S. government is distributing more COVID-19 tests to prepare for the expected surge in cases during the winter holiday season, coinciding with the flu season and an increase in RSV cases.

How can people order these free COVID-19 tests?

People can order their free COVID-19 tests starting Monday by visiting COVIDtests.gov. The U.S. Postal Service will deliver these tests without any charge.

Are there any new developments in COVID-19 vaccines?

Yes, the Food and Drug Administration approved updated COVID-19 vaccines targeting the omicron variant XBB.1.5. These vaccines are recommended for everyone aged 6 months or older.

Has there been a change in insurance coverage for COVID-19 tests?

Yes, this is the first winter since the pandemic began that insurers are no longer required to cover the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests, which now cost an average of $11 out-of-pocket.

More about COVID-19 tests

  • Order Free COVID-19 Tests
  • U.S. COVID-19 Test Distribution Program
  • Latest on COVID-19 Vaccinations
  • Insurance Coverage for COVID-19 Tests
  • RSV Hospitalization Trends in the U.S.
  • COVIDtests.gov Official Website
  • KFF Analysis on At-Home Test Costs
  • FDA’s COVID-19 Vaccine Updates
  • U.S. Public Health Guidelines on COVID-19

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Dave_1984 November 25, 2023 - 5:11 pm

just read that insurances aren’t covering these tests anymore, it’s kinda unfair isn’t it?

Mike Johnson November 25, 2023 - 7:43 pm

Wow, another round of free tests, That’s good news I guess. hope they’re quick with the delivery this time.

GaryW November 25, 2023 - 8:51 pm

Surprised to see how much we’ve spent on COVID stuff in 3 years, it’s a huge number! but health is important, so I get it.

EmilyRose November 26, 2023 - 4:02 am

glad to see more actions being taken, but are these tests reliable enough? Last time i got a false negative, not very reassuring.

Sarah K November 26, 2023 - 6:05 am

not sure if this will really help with the spike, but it’s a step in the right direction…what about more vaccine centers?


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