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Free COVID-19 Tests Available

Four free at-home COVID-19 tests can be ordered by going to www.covidtests.gov

By Eugenia Jones

As part of the federal government’s effort to stem the COVID-19 pandemic and help provide tests for those who need testing in order to comply with mandates, every home in the United States can now order four free at-home COVID-19 tests.  The tests are completely free and will usually ship in 7-12 days.

The four free at-home COVID-19 tests can be ordered by going to https;//www.covidtests.gov and clicking on “Order Free At-Home Tests.” After completing contact information and shipping addresses, an order of four free tests can be submitted.  The online site also gives information about other testing resources, additional types of COVID-19 tests, and provides resources available if more than four tests are needed.

Commonly referred to as self-tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests, the free tests  are rapid antigen at-home tests, not PCR, and can be taken anywhere.  No lab drop off is necessary and results are available within thirty minutes.  The tests work whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms and whether or not you are up to date on COVID-19 vaccines.

The online site recommends taking a test in the following situations:

-If you begin having COVID-19 symptoms like fever, sore throat, runny nose, or loss of taste or smell,

-At least 5 days after you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, or

-When you’re going to gather with a group of people, especially those who are at risk of severe disease or may not be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines.

If you test positive on your at-home test, follow the latest CDC guidance for isolation.

Testing is only one step you can take to protect yourself, friends, family, and others. Everyone is encouraged to:

-Get up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations. Visit vaccines.gov to find a vaccine or booster near you.

-Wear a well-fitted mask when gathering indoors.

-Maintain 6 feet of distance between people.

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