Americans Can Now Get Free Rapid COVID Tests Sent Directly to Their Homes — Here's How

·2 min read
covid tests
covid tests

JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images

All Americans are now able to request free rapid COVID-19 tests sent directly to their homes, a day earlier than planned.

As of Tuesday, each household in the U.S. can order up to four rapid test kits at covidtests.gov.

"Every home in the U.S. can soon order 4 free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests. The tests will be completely free — there are no shipping costs and you don't need to enter a credit card number," a statement on the website reads.

In order to receive the free tests, users will be asked for their names and addresses, and will receive the tests in seven to 12 days.

RELATED: Omicron Surge Crushes Healthcare System with Hospitals in 24 States Nearing Full Capacity

Amazon iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test FDA Approved
Amazon iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test FDA Approved

Amazon

Along with the 500 million free COVID-19 rapid tests the Biden administration has purchased for the initial rollout, they plan to distribute 500 million more in the coming months. In total, the Biden administration is aiming to distribute 1 billion COVID-19 rapid tests nationwide for free, but for now each household is limited to just four test kits.

"We're not saying we're stopping there," an administration official said of the first 500 million tests during a conference call, per Reuters.

RELATED: US Breaks COVID Record at Nearly Half a Million Cases in a Single Day

The administration also plans to also launch a phone line to help people who do not have access to the Internet and need to order tests.

The decision to send tests directly to Americans comes after the Biden administration was criticized for the lack of available tests when the highly-contagious omicron variant started spreading in early December. While other countries, like the United Kingdom and Singapore, had readily available and free tests for citizens, Americans were scrambling to find them at all with most drugstores sold out.

RELATED: Officials Warn Consumers About Using Fake At-Home COVID Tests — Here's How to Avoid Them

Along with the four free tests, as of Jan. 15, private health insurance companies are now required to cover up to eight at-home tests a month. However, Americans will have to file a reimbursement claim through their provider.

The United States is currently dealing with record high cases and hospitalizations amid the omicron surge.

As of Jan. 17, the U.S. is seeing an average of 801,903 new COVID-19 cases a day, according to The New York Times, and 156,560 Americans are currently hospitalized with the virus.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.