CNET – September 21, 2023
The US Postal Service on Wednesday said it will again start shipping free COVID tests to homes across the country. The new at-home tests are made possible by a $600 million investment from the White House that includes grants for 12 manufacturing companies that produce the tests.
USPS has been shipping free COVID-19 tests since January 2022 and has previously delivered four rounds of tests, totaling 20 free tests for each household. The program was halted in September 2022 when it ran out of tests and funding, then restarted in December 2022 and stopped again after the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency in May 2023.
How does the USPS free COVID-19 test program work?
In January 2022, President Joe Biden announced the launch of CovidTests.gov, a website where households could order four free rapid antigen COVID-19 tests shipped by USPS. The site added four more free tests in March 2022, eight more in May 2022 and then a final four tests last winter. The new round of shipments will also include four COVID tests.
Unlike some complicated government applications, ordering free tests from the Postal Service is simple. It takes less than two minutes to complete a short form asking for your name and mailing address, and the tests ship in about a week or two. People without internet access or those who have trouble ordering online can request tests using a toll-free phone number — 800-232-0233.
The USPS will start accepting orders for this latest round of free COVID tests on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023.
How do I order free COVID-19 tests from USPS?
When USPS starts taking orders for COVID-19 tests on Sept. 25, you’ll only need to provide a few bits of information to get your kits. You won’t be asked to provide any credit or debit card details, as both the tests and the shipping are free. Here’s how to get your kits once the order process begins.
2. Enter your contact details and shipping information.
3. Click Check Out Now.
4. Verify that your information is correct and select Place My Order.
All orders will be shipped via First Class Package Service.
People who can’t access the website or who have trouble ordering online can call 800-232-0233 to order their free tests.
When will my free COVID-19 test kits arrive?
Tests are typically sent out within seven to 12 days of an order being successfully placed and are delivered by the USPS within one to three days of shipping.