US to again offer free COVID-19 tests, awards $600M to boost production

Starting Sept. 25, Americans will again be able to order free COVID-19 tests through the federal government. The news comes amid the ninth consecutive week of COVID-19 hospital admissions increasing across the U.S. 

When — the website where households can order free at-home tests — relaunches toward the end of September, each American household will be able to order four free tests. The government first launched the site in January 2022, with a limit of one order containing four test kits per residential address.

The site has been on pause since May, when the public health emergency ended. An HHS official told CBS News the free tests that will soon be shipped to Americans had been stockpiled and will remain usable through the end of the year. The FDA recently extended expiration dates for many rapid at-home tests. 

"We've had these stockpiled," Dawn O'Connell, head of the HHS' Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, told CBS. "We'd rather folks have these tests in their medicine cabinets that they can use now, than sitting in a stockpile somewhere. So we really think it's just been an important tool, and we made an active decision to make it available now."

The Biden administration is also awarding $600 million to 12 domestic manufacturers to boost production of tests, according to a Sept. 20 HHS news release.

"These critical investments in U.S. manufacturing will improve preparedness for COVID-19 and other pandemic threats of the future, strengthen the nation's capacity to manufacture tests, and secure approximately 200 million new over-the-counter COVID-19 tests for future federal government use," the agency said. 


Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars