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Free COVID Test Orders to End on March 8
  • Posted March 6, 2024

Free COVID Test Orders to End on March 8

Americans will not be able to order free at-home COVID tests after Friday, U.S. health officials announced Tuesday.

Households across the country have been able to order four free rapid antigen tests through COVID.gov. since November. All orders placed on or before Friday will be fulfilled, according to the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“ASPR has delivered over 1.8 billion free COVID-19 tests to the American people through COVID.gov and direct distribution pathways and will continue distributing millions of tests per week to long-term care facilities, food banks, health centers and schools,” an ASPR spokesperson told CNN.

The decision reflects the reality that COVID-19 cases are falling as the respiratory virus season winds down.

COVID-related hospitalizations are still elevated, but they are dropping in certain areas of the country, CDC data shows.

The federal government previously suspended the free rapid test program last May after the public health emergency of the pandemic was officially ended. Residents who haven't placed an order since then can now place two, which will provide eight tests in total, according to COVID.gov.

These tests can be taken at home and used whether or not someone has symptoms. They should work through the end of the year; some of the dates on the labels may show that they're expired, but the US Food and Drug Administration has extended those expiration dates.

The CDC recommends that people test if they have any COVID symptoms including a sore throat, a runny nose, loss of smell or taste or a fever.

Just last week, the agency relaxed its COVID isolation guidance and said folks no longer need to stay home for five days and could instead return to work or school once symptoms start subsiding and they haven't had a fever for at least 24 hours without medication.

More information

Visit the CDC for more on COVID testing.


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