4 free Covid test kits can be obtained now by mail

January 18, 2022, 3:21 PM

(Photo: U.S. Postal Service)

The U.S. Postal Service today began taking web requests for a set of four at-home Covid test kits, a federal program that's in beta test status until its official launch Wednesday.

This government site is the portal for no-cost orders that will begin shipping in late January. The order form itself is here

Each household is limited to one set of the rapid antigen tests. A sample is collected through a nasal or throat swab (provided) and mixed with a solution. The solution is then placed onto an indicator device that may detect the presence of the virus that causes Covid-19.

There's no shipping cost or other expense for this nationwide service, part of the Biden administration's pandemic response. Testing remains one of the biggest challenges, with long lines at testing centers and at-home rapid tests selling out quickly as the Omicron variant spreads wider concern along with the virus. 

The White House says in a statement: "Today, in alignment with website launch best practices, covidtests.gov is currently in its beta phase, which means that the website is operating at limited capacity ahead of its official launch. This is standard practice to address troubleshooting and ensure as smooth of an official launch tomorrow as possible. We expect the website to officially launch midmorning tomorrow."

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