Biden administration offers eight free, at-home COVID-19 tests


Daily file illustration by Janna Lee

The Biden administration is rolling out its third round of free online COVID-19 test orders.

Lily Carey, Assistant City Editor

The Biden administration will re-open its website for families to order eight more free at-home COVID-19 tests, it announced Tuesday.

As COVID-19 cases rise due to the spread of omicron subvariants, the administration said regular testing is essential.

The announcement comes after Evanston reached ‘High’ COVID-19 transmission levels last week. But because the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services dropped its requirement for testing centers to report negative test results in April, the city and state stopped collecting and reporting data on overall positivity rates.

Northwestern is also seeing its highest positivity rates of the pandemic. The University administration said it does not plan to reinstate mask mandates or testing requirements through the end of the academic year.

Most at-home tests ordered online are delivered directly to the person’s address within 48 hours. It will also offer additional support in more than 150 languages for those who need help ordering tests via its hotline at 1-800-232-0233, which operates from 8 a.m. to midnight EST every day.

The federal government first announced in January it would offer free rapid tests to citizens to encourage at-home testing and combat the rise of the omicron variant. The first round of online ordering allowed each household to receive up to four tests. A second round in March allowed households to receive an additional four tests. 

Tuesday’s announcement brings the total number of free tests available to Americans over the past few months to 16.

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Twitter: @lilylcarey

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