August 30, 2022

Free at-home COVID-19 tests distribution to end this Friday

By: Lauren McCaffrey
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Editor's Note 

On Friday, September 2, the US government will stop giving away free at-home COVID-19 tests because of insufficient congressional funds, according to a senior Biden administration official, NBC News August 28 reports. The White House official said unless there is a surprise round of funding from Congress, the giveaways will end Friday so the government can conserve its stockpile in case of another surge.

The government started shipping free tests in January 2022 and has since distributed around 600 million tests. In March 2022, the White House asked Congress for additional funding for COVID-19 relief efforts, but the funding was not granted due to an impasse. The existing stockpile of COVID-19 tests is being depleted, and it is unknown how many are currently left, the administration official noted.

"If Congress provides funding, we will expeditiously resume distribution of free tests through covidtests.gov," the source said. "Until then, we believe reserving the remaining tests for distribution later this year is the best course."

Although the COVID-19 home test distribution ends Friday, people can still get testing or reimbursement through private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, NBC noted.

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