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Thursday, February 29, 2024
Feb. 29, 2024

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Washingtion, federal government websites still offer free COVID tests. Here’s how to order yours


If you’ve used up the rapid tests you ordered in January, there are still rapid tests available from both Washington state and the federal government.

While tests quickly ran out when the Washington Department of Health first launched its website earlier this year, the department has plenty of tests now, according to DOH spokesperson Frank Ameduri. “We have about 3.3 million tests on hand and more on the way,” he said.

In March, Washington public health officials announced an expansion of their free COVID-19 test program to allow up to two orders per household every month, while supplies last.

The White House also expanded its program in March to allow households to order a second batch of four more.

As of April 26, Washington state’s program has received over 1 million orders and distributed tests to over 695,000 households.

Ordering free at-home tests from the federal government

The federal government launched its site, COVIDTests.gov, in January. Originally, each household was able to request one order of four tests. Now, White House officials say orders are limited to two per household, with each order containing four rapid antigen tests. The tests usually ship within 12 days, according to the White House.

For help placing an order, call 800-232-0233 (daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. PST). In some cases addresses may not be recognized as multifamily homes or units. If there’s an issue because you believe an order has already been placed using your address, contact USPS at 800-275-8777 or file a service request at emailus.usps.com/s/the-postal-store-inquiry.

Ordering free at-home tests from Washington state

Washington state also in January launched its website to order free tests, sayyescovidhometest.org.

Kits should arrive about one to two weeks after ordering, according to the site. In some parts of the state, residents also have the option of picking up tests locally, but people are urged to call their local health department first to check.

How to understand your tests

Do you know the difference between different types of at-home tests? Familiarize yourself with what type of test might be best for you, when to take them and what to do if you test positive. The tests people receive from Washington state or the federal government may also carry an expiration date that is no longer accurate.