Coronavirus, health, News

Free at-home COVID-19 test kits are coming back

Starting September 25, households will be able to order four more free COVID-19 test kits, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Wednesday.

The kits, delivered through the joint efforts of the United States Postal Service and the HHS, will be available to order at COVIDTests.gov.

This will be the fifth time since the start of the pandemic that free kits will be available for order; so far, more than 755 million kits have been made available to order for free.

200 million more will be manufactured to the tune of $600 million the federal government injected into 12 U.S. manufacturers to complete the order, including 6 on the West Coast.

“The Biden-Harris Administration, in partnership with domestic manufacturers, has made great strides in addressing vulnerabilities in the U.S. supply chain by reducing our reliance on overseas manufacturing,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in a press release. “These critical investments will strengthen our nation’s production levels of domestic at-home COVID-19 rapid tests and help mitigate the
spread of the virus.”

The new tests are designed to detect currently circulating COVID-19 variants, are intended for use through the end of 2023, and will include instructions on how to use the tests.

People with old test kits at home were urged to check new guidance on expiration dates on COVID-19 test kits before throwing them away, as the US Food and Drug Administration had extended the lifespan of some tests beyond the date listed on the box.

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