With COVID cases rising across the country once again, and most of the free home test kits provided by the federal government during 2022 now beyond their expiry date, yesterday the HHS announced that starting next week, all American households will once again be eligible to receive 4 free test kits.
The press release detailed actions taken to `. . . to strengthen the domestic supply chain and promote access to COVID-19 tests'.
Near the bottom of the press release it states:
In addition to the investments in domestic manufacturing, beginning September 25, households will again be able to order four free tests through COVIDTests.gov. These tests will detect the currently circulating COVID-19 variants, are intended for use through the end of 2023, and will include clear instructions on how to verify extended expiration dates.
This upcoming round of ordering follows four previous rounds in which ASPR and USPS provided over 755 million tests free of charge to households across the country. These efforts complement ASPR’s ongoing distribution of free COVID-19 tests to long-term care facilities, low-income senior housing, uninsured individuals, and underserved communities, with 500 million tests provided to date through these channels.
As we've previously discussed, all of these test kits have a limited shelf-life, and while this press release indicates these tests are probably marked with an expiration date around the end of the year, many have been granted an extension (see FDA Extends Shelf Life Of More At-Home COVID Test Kits).
These extensions vary by manufacturer, and not every home test kit has been granted an extension. You'll need to go to the FDA website and check your kit(s), against their list.
As much as we'd all like to be done with COVID - the SARS-COV-2 virus continues to reinvent itself - and appears far from ready to go quietly into the night.