Sep 25, 2023 - News

You can now order free COVID tests by mail again

Illustration of a covid rapid test with a change symbol in the results panel

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Free COVID-19 tests are again available by mail to households that request them, starting Monday.

What's happening: Households can order four free tests through

Why it matters: The original program, which allowed each household to get four free tests per month, ended this spring after the expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

  • The current announcement comes as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations creep up, hinting at how the virus could become a predictable seasonal threat.
  • In King County, the COVID-19 hospital admission and community threat level was low as of Sept. 13, but county data showed that hospitalization and case rates have been increasing throughout the summer.

The tests are intended for use through the end of 2023 and will come with instructions on how people can verify if the tests' expiration date has been extended, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  • The Biden administration, which said it previously provided more than 755 million at-home tests through the Postal Service, said it expects to secure about 200 million tests from 12 U.S. manufacturers.

Related: How to check if old or expired COVID-19 tests still work


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