You Can Request Free COVID Tests from the U.S. Government Again—Here’s How To Do It

Photo: Getty Images/Willie B. Thomas
As 2022 comes to a challenging and sniffly close thanks to a“tripledemic” of aggressive respiratory viruses—including the current dominant variant of COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and the flu—there is some good news. The White House, in a call with reporters on Wednesday night, announced that they would be offering four free COVID-19 tests per household. The free COVID test program was suspended in September when Congress did not pass funding to maintain the reserve of government tests.

However, given that the rate of COVID-19 infections has increased by 44 percent in the last 14 days,  it appears the Biden administration has moved available funds around to reinstate the program. In addition, the administration explained that they plan to offer increased vaccination resources to nursing homes and hospitals, as well as send additional staff and equipment to overburdened states on an as-needed basis.

These are all important steps, since in recent weeks hospitals across the country have been grappling with a rise in cases of all three of these viruses, and pediatric ICUs are running low on beds. The free tests will be one small way to help reduce the spread of illness during this particularly bad viral season. 

Other ways to stop the spread of illness? Stay home if you're feeling sick, wear a mask in crowded places, wash your hands frequently (or use hand sanitizer when handwashing isn't an option), and sneeze or cough into the crook of your arm rather than your hand, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Oh, and it's also a good idea to be open with your friends and family if you're currently sick—even if it doesn't seem like a big deal.

You can order your four free COVID-19 tests via by filling out the short form and entering your mailing address. If you need help placing an order, you can call 1-800-232-0233 for assistance.

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