In January of this year, the federal government announced two new initiatives to help combat the spread of COVID-19’s Omicron variant. One was the distribution of some 400 million N95 respirators, which people could claim for free at local spots like grocery stores and pharmacies. The other involved free stuff, too—namely, rapid antigen tests shipped straight to your door, so you could test for the virus without leaving home. Each household was entitled to four tests; and in March, you were allowed to order four more.
Now, as NPR reports, a third round of free COVID-19 tests is underway. This time, each household gets eight, sent in two separate four-packs. All you have to do is submit your name and address through a designated page on the USPS website. If you include your email address, too, you’ll receive shipping updates. And if your household never claimed one or both of the two previous rounds of free tests, you can submit orders for those as well.
Anyone who doesn’t have internet access or encounters difficulty completing the online order form can call 1-800-232-0233. The line is open every day from 8 a.m. to midnight, and help is available in more than 150 languages.
According to a White House fact sheet, more than 70 million households did take advantage of the previous rounds, totaling some 350 million free tests. This latest dispensation comes at yet another pivotal moment during the pandemic, as Omicron subvariant cases surge across the nation.
If you do test positive with one of the at-home COVID-19 tests, you should report the results so authorities can better track the spread of the virus. Learn more about how to do that here.