Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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Free COVID tests are going away

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Photo: michele ursi (Shutterstock)

you already ordered yours first, second and third rounds of free US government COVID tests? If not, click covidtests.gov and apply now, because funding for the program is about to run out. The website now has an announcement that the program will be suspended on September 2, which is this Friday, “because Congress has not provided additional funding to replenish the nation’s testing backlog.”

To order your free COVID tests:

  1. Fill out the form at covidtests.gov, which asks for your name and address.
  2. Click “exit”. No payment needed; their total is shown as $0 and they don’t ask for credit card numbers or anything else. (If you are on a website that asks you to pay a shipping fee,Is a gotcha.)
  3. After placing your order, you can immediately place another order if you have not yet reached the limit of three orders per household.

One test order provides you with eight tests, which are usually shipped in two packages, each containing four tests. (When the program initially launched, you would get four proofs per order. It’s unclear if placing three orders now will get you a total of 24 proofs, or if some of the orders will be fulfilled as four proofs.)

A White House official told CNN that the program will be suspended Friday regardless of how much evidence remains in the backlog, with leftovers being saved “for distribution later this year.” If Congress provides additional funding, covidtests.gov could be up and running when that happens.

If you are blind or have difficulty using home COVID tests, you can use this site to request free tests from Ellume, which read the results to you using a smartphone app. You can also call 888-677-1199 Monday through Friday from 9 am to 8 pm ET or email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.

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