Get your free COVID-19 tests before the public health emergency ends

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

May 11 marks the official end of the COVID-19 public health emergency in the United States. After Thursday, the federal government will no longer buy COVID tests and vaccines to give away to Americans for free.

After an emergency, some services provided by the federal government will now be provided to American citizens or their health insurance companies, and the lack of budget funds could mean the end of free tests for COVID-19.

Read more: How to tell if it’s an allergy, COVID, or something else

In 2022, the US Postal Service delivered millions of free COVID-19 tests – up to 16 tests per household – but the program was abruptly halted in September 2022 due to a lack of funding. A smaller version of the program was relaunched in December 2022 and is still active with no planned termination, although a quick shutdown last fall suggests its end could come at any time.

Below, find out how to request free COVID-19 tests from the USPS, track your order, and find other places to get free COVID test kits.

For more information on COVID-19, learn why the expiration date of your test kit may be wrong.

How does the USPS free COVID-19 testing program work?

In January 2022, President Joe Biden announced the launch of, a website that allows households to order four free rapid COVID-19 antigen tests shipped by USPS. The site added four more free tests in March, then eight more in May. The latest round of deliveries also includes four COVID tests.

Unlike some complicated government applications, ordering free tests from the Post Office is easy. It takes less than two minutes to fill out a short form asking for your name and mailing address, and the tests are shipped in about a week or two. Americans without Internet access or those who have trouble ordering online can request tests by using a toll-free number – 800-232-0233.

How do I order free COVID-19 tests from the USPS?

You only need to provide the US Postal Service with a few bits of information to receive your free test kits. You will not be asked to provide credit or debit card details as both testing and delivery are free. Here’s how to get your free test kits.

1. Visit You can also get there via

2. Enter your contact details and shipping information.

3. Click Look now.

4. Check that your information is correct and select Place my order.

All orders will be shipped via Premium Parcel Service.

People who cannot access the website or have problems ordering online can call 800-232-0233 to order their free tests.

When will my free COVID-19 tests arrive?

Tests are usually shipped within seven to 12 days of a successful order and are delivered by USPS within one to three days of shipment.

How can I track my order for free COVID tests?

After placing your order, you should receive a confirmation email. When your package ships, you’ll receive email notifications with shipping updates, including a tracking number and estimated delivery date. Note that for the third round, you will receive two packages that will likely arrive on different days, so look for two confirmation emails with your tracking numbers.

Once you receive it, you can either click the tracking link or copy and paste the tracking number into the tracker on the Post Office website.

Is it OK to use COVID-19 tests left outside?

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the manufacturers have ensured that the tests remain stable at various temperatures, “including transportation in the summer in very hot regions and in the winter in very cold regions.”

But the test can be damaged if left outdoors in sub-zero temperatures or used immediately after being brought in from sub-zero temperatures.

The ideal storage temperature for COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kits is between 59 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

How else can I get more free COVID-19 tests?

Along with the four free tests from the Post Office, you have several options for finding similar free tests at home. First and foremost, if you have private health insurance, you can get eight more free tests per person per month, but this is only guaranteed until May 11, 2023. After that date, your health insurance will determine how much you have to pay for COVID tests .

Both Walgreens and CVS currently allow customers with insurance cards to order COVID-19 tests for free on their websites, but according to Walgreens, that service will end on May 11.

Initially, Medicare was not included in the plan to distribute free COVID-19 tests, but in April 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that participants with Plan B or those enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans are eligible for get eight free tests per month. Monthly free tests for Medicare Plan B enrollees will end on May 11.

As part of the Biden administration’s National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, the Department of Health and Human Services has provided millions of free COVID-19 tests to community health centers and Medicare-certified rural health clinics.

It’s not yet clear when these free COVID tests will expire, but for now you can still search for local health centers or clinics with free COVID tests on the HHS website.

For more information about COVID-19 and home testing, learn how to spot fake COVID tests.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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