Coronavirus

This is the last week you can order free COVID-19 tests

Each household is eligible for up to eight at-home COVID-19 tests, depending on when they last ordered.

At-home COVID-19 tests
Patrick Sison/AP
SMS

The federal government will stop shipping free COVID-19 tests this week. 

The United States Postal Service says orders for free at-home COVID-19 tests will be suspended on Friday. 

The government started sending out this latest round of COVID-19 tests in November. It was the second time in the fall of 2023 that the Biden administration offered the program. 

The relaunch came after $600 million was allocated to manufacture 200 million tests. 

Each household is eligible for up to eight tests, depending on when they last ordered. 

The free test program was originally launched in January 2022 during the height of the omicron variant. The at-home tests generally give results within 30 minutes and do not require a lab drop-off. 

Officials recommend using an at-home COVID-19 test after developing COVID symptoms such as a fever, sore throat, runny nose or loss of taste.

The U.S. is in a much different position than it was during the height of the pandemic. Most Americans now have some level of protection against the virus — either from vaccination or past infection. 

After a slight uptick at the beginning of the year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported drops in test positivity, hospitalizations and deaths.

US health officials drop 5-day isolation time for COVID-19
US health officials drop 5-day isolation time for COVID-19

US health officials drop 5-day isolation time for COVID-19

The CDC changed its longstanding guidance on Friday, saying people can return to work or regular activities if their symptoms are mild and improving.

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