Government to pause free at-home COVID tests by Sept. 2
The big picture: White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha said on Aug. 16 that the Biden administration will stop buying vaccines, treatments and tests as early as this fall, CNN reported.
- The Department of Health and Human Services has a meeting scheduled Tuesday with drugmakers, pharmacies and state health departments to address the changes, the Wall Street Journal reports.
What they’re saying: “Ordering through this program will be suspended on Friday, September 2 because Congress hasn’t provided additional funding to replenish the nation’s stockpile of tests,” the COVID test website says.
Yes, but: A senior administration official told USA Today that the government needs to preserve tests for a potential rise in infections in the fall.
Meanwhile, as many as 4.1 million people may remain out of work due to long COVID symptoms, according to a new estimate from Katie Bach, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Axios’ Tina Reed reports.
Flashback: The at-home COVID test program first launched in January and initially allowed for four free tests per residential address, regardless of how many lived in a household. It expanded in March and in May.
Order COVID home test kits
Households can order a total of 16 rapid antigen tests from the government through a USPS website.
- The tests are available at no cost and ship free.
- If you can't order through the website, the hotline is at 1-800-232-0233.
Be smart: People with insurance can get eight additional tests per person monthly paid for through their health plans or through reimbursement.
- Other low or no-cost testing options exist for people without insurance.
Can you use expired COVID tests?
The Food & Drug Administration recently extended the expiration dates for several over-the-counter COVID tests adding several months to the “use by” date, Axios' Melissa Santos reports.
- Check the FDA's website for a full list of approved COVID-19 tests and their revised expiration dates.