The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it would resume offering free Covid at-home tests to American families Monday, as the virus continues to spread across the country. The administration announced in a press release that Americans will be able to request four free Covid tests through COVIDtests.gov. The government has been offering free test kits on this website since January 20,22. However, the site ceased taking orders as of June 1, 2018 to conserve the supply of tests. The government will relaunch the program just in time for fall and winter, when the virus is more prevalent. The Biden administration said that the home tests will detect the current Covid strains. The kits are intended for use through the end of 2023 and will come with instructions for how people can verify if a test’s expiration date has been extended, the administration added.
Testing is a critical tool for protection as Covid infections climb again.
But lab PCR tests — the traditional method of detecting Covid — have become more expensive and less accessible for some Americans since the U.S. government ended the public health emergency in May. The end of the declaration has also affected how private and public insurers cover home tests. This could leave some people without access to these tests through their insurance plans. The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it would provide $600,000,000 to 12 Covid test manufacturing companies across the nation in order to increase their production capacity. The administration anticipates securing about 200 million test from these companies. These investments will help strengthen the production of COVID-19 at-home rapid tests in the United States and reduce the spread of virus, said Health and Human Services secretary Xavier Becerra.