Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have reportedly been on the rise in the U.S. as of late — although in comparison with the pandemic of the pandemic, they do remain low. However, COVID cases are anticipated to surge this winter, and the Biden administration is planning ahead by returning the website for free rapid at-home tests. Beginning Monday, September 25, 2023 — every household in the U.S. can once again place an order to receive four more free COVID-19 rapid tests delivered directly to their home.
How To Get A Free COVID-19 Test
You can make an order via covid.gov/tests. According to the website, you should receive a free shipment within 7 to 12 days. Currently, there is a maximum of four tests available per address, regardless of the number of residents. This may change as more become available. If you don’t receive your test you can contact USPS’s help desk at 1-800-275-8777.
What Type Of Test Is It?
The tests are rapid at-home or over-the-counter (OTC) antigen tests, they are not PCR tests. You will have results within 30 minutes and it will show you if you have COVID-19 even if you’re asymptomatic.
When Should I Take The Test?
According to the website, there are three instances where home tests could prove useful and help prevent the spread of the virus:
- If you’re showing any symptoms like a high fever, sore throat, runny nose, or loss of taste or smell.
- At least 5 days after you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19.
- Any time you plan on attending a group gathering, especially if any of the other attendees are high-risk individuals.
What Happens If Your Test Comes Back Negative?
That simply means you may be less likely to spread the virus. Of course, there’s always the possibility that the test was not carried out correctly. Either way, it’s best to test again in 24 hours.
What Happens If Your Test Comes Back Positive?
In this case, it’s highly likely that you have COVID-19. You can follow the CDC’s isolation guidance here.