Be Prepared

Families Can Get Another Round Of Free COVID-19 Tests Right Now

The Biden administration officially started a second wave of free, at-home antigen tests.

by Lauren Levy
Close-up of a young child showing the negative result of a Covid-19 test onto the lateral flow test ...
Onfokus/E+/Getty Images

With spring quickly approaching, Americans are more ready than ever to get back to normal and fully embrace all of the socializing and activities that the COVID-19 pandemic paused. Yes, we’re nearing the promise of sunnier days and warm weather right as cases are finally trending downward after a bleak winter (in more ways than one). But that doesn’t mean it’s any less important for families to remain vigilant. That’s why President Biden is now offering a second set of free at-home COVID tests — despite demand slowing.

Each U.S. household can now order an additional four at-home COVID-19 rapid antigen tests from the federal government. To order these free tests, you can apply online through Or, you can call 1-800-232-0233. You don’t need to provide insurance, proof of ID, or payment information — just your name, address, and email address (but that’s optional and only if you want to get shipping updates). Then, you’re done and will be the proud owner of new tests delivered to your door within an estimated seven to 12 days.

What if you don’t feel like you need them right now? Still sign up — it’s better to have them on-hand and be able to test should something come up. Plus, remember how hard they were to get during the omicron chaos? Should another variant explode, you won’t have to worry about frantically scoring this “hot commodity” for your family.

The free tests launched back in January amid the omicron variant surge and, during that first round, households could also only sign-up to get four at-home tests. The tests, which are all authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, offer families an extra layer of protection by giving rapid results in under 30 minutes. Now, with this second wave of giveaways, any household that didn’t request the first four tests are eligible to apply for two batches of four. Meaning that between the January and March signups, families are able to receive a total of eight government-funded tests.

“Today I want you to know that if you’ve already ordered free tests, you can now order another round, shipped directly to your home and for free, so we’re prepared no matter what COVID-19 brings,” President Biden said in a video shared on Twitter.

Biden first made the announcement during his State of the Union last week, and at that time, there was still more than 200 million of the initial 500 million free tests still waiting to be claimed, according to White House Assistant Press Secretary Kevin Munoz. The federal government officially started allowing each residential address to place second orders on Tuesday, according to The New York Times.

“People were able to sell tests like hot cakes over omicron,” Gigi Gronvall, a testing expert at Johns Hopkins University, told The New York Times. “They were able to gouge prices. It’s now, when the libraries can’t give them away, that the government needs to make sure that the manufacturers don’t pull out, like what happened before delta.”

Even though rapid tests are currently easier to find in stores, there’s no guarantee it will stay that way. Plus, they still cost money upfront. So prepare your family now for whatever this pandemic may throw at us by snatching up more free tests. If there’s anything we’ve learned from COVID-19 thus far, it’s that we simply don’t know what it will bring next.