Free mail-order COVID-19 tests are returning next week. Here’s how to get yours

Every household in the U.S. will be able to order up to four free COVID-19 tests starting next week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Wednesday.

Starting Monday, you can request yours online at

The announcement comes as COVID-19 infection rates are on the rise around the country, including in Kansas City.

According to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, new weekly hospitalizations due to the virus in Missouri have increased by over 70% in the past month alone. In Kansas, weekly hospitalizations are up nearly 160% since one month ago.

But since the end of the COVID-19 federal emergency on May 11, home tests for the virus have been harder to come by. In most local pharmacies, a pack of two tests costs around $25 — and some customers have found home delivery unavailable.

The new initiative awarded $600 million to 12 test manufacturers around the U.S., who will produce an estimated 200 million new tests in the coming weeks.

“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,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a Wednesday news release.

The announcement comes just weeks before new COVID-19 booster shots are scheduled to arrive at pharmacies, health departments and clinics around the country.

“Our Health Services manager expects them to be here within the next 10 days,” said Kindle Biermann, a spokesperson for Jackson County Public Health. “We will announce on social media once they are here.”

Do you have more questions about staying safe from COVID-19 in Kansas City? Ask the Service Journalism team at