Free at-home COVID tests are back: Here’s how to get yours

(NEXSTAR) – After a months-long hiatus, a government website that allows American households to order free at-home COVID-19 tests is back online Monday.

People can go to to place their order of four rapid at-home tests per household, which will be delivered for free by the United States Postal Service.

Once your order ships, you should get a tracking number sent to the email you include with your order.

This is the fifth round of free at-home tests delivered by USPS. The Postal Service has delivered 755 million tests in previous rounds.

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It’s not clear how long the window to order new tests will be open, though the Department of Health and Human Services told the Associated Press it would be up for several months.

Dawn O’Connell, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at HHS, said the website will remain functional to receive orders through the holidays and “we reserve the right to keep it open even longer if we’re starting to see an increase in cases.”

“If there is a demand for these tests, we want to make sure that they’re made available to the American people for free in this way,” O’Connell said. “But, at this point, our focus is getting through the holidays and making sure folks can take a test if they’re going to see Grandma for Thanksgiving.”

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The government first launched the site in January of 2022, but stopped taking orders in June 2023 to help stockpile a federal supply of the tests, according to CNBC.

Now, twelve manufacturers in seven states from California to Maryland have been awarded funding and will produce 200 million over-the-counter tests to replenish federal supplies for government use. Those manufacturers will also be producing enough tests to meet demand for tests ordered online, the HHS said.

The tests are designed to detect COVID variants currently circulating, and are intended for use by the end of the year. However, they will include instructions on how to verify extended expiration dates, the department said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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