Frequently Asked Questions
My COVID-19 Home Test Kits are about to expire. Do I really need to use them soon?
Most COVID-19 Home Test Kits have received expiration extensions from the FDA. To see if your COVID-19 Test Kit has an expiration extension, see the List of Authorized At-Home OTC COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests. For additional COVID-19 Home Test Kit information, visit the FDA AT-Home COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests: Frequently Asked Questions.
When will I get my tests and how will they be delivered?
Tests will be delivered in the mail through the U.S. Postal Service. All orders within the continental United States will be sent through First Class Package Service. Shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. Territories, and overseas military and diplomatic addresses (APO/FPO/DPO) will be sent through Priority Mail.
What if I need a COVID-19 test right away?
In addition to this program, there are numerous other options to get tested for free, including over 15,000 free community-based testing sites, including pharmacies, across the country. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is also distributing free at-home tests to schools, nursing homes, community health centers, rural health clinics, food banks, and other community to ensure communities have widespread access to tests.
If you have health insurance through an employer, the Marketplace, Medicare, or Medicaid, your insurance will also cover the cost of over-the-counter, at-home tests (up to 8 at-home tests per month for each person on your plan).
Will I be able to track my order status?
Yes. There is an option for you to provide an email address to receive email notifications with shipping updates.
Once your order is shipped, you will receive an email with an estimated delivery date and a tracking number. You can track the status of your delivery on USPS.com.
All orders within the continental United States will be sent through First Class Package Service. Shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. Territories, and overseas military and diplomatic addresses (APO/FPO/DPO) will be sent through Priority Mail.
Who do I contact if I ordered my tests, but they have not been delivered?
To get help with a delivery issue, please contact USPS.
Will my tests come with instructions on how to use them?
Yes. Tests will have instructions on how to use them.
When should I use my tests?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you take an at-home test:
- If you begin having COVID-19 symptoms like fever, sore throat, runny nose, or loss of taste or smell, or
- At least 5 days after you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, or
- When you’re going to gather with a group of people, especially those who are at risk of severe disease or may not be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines.
For more on when to use at-home tests, see the latest CDC self-testing guidance.
Why should I take an at-home test?
If you test positive for COVID-19 and are more likely to get very sick, treatments are available that can reduce your chances of hospitalization and death. But don’t delay: Treatment must be started within days after you first develop symptoms to be effective.
Treatments for COVID-19 are now widely available. If you test positive for COVID-19, talk to a doctor as soon as possible about treatment options.
The Test-to-Treat program is one easy way to get treatment. Test-to-Treat locations will give you a test and treatment: Find a Test-to-Treat location near you
Do I need to beware of “Free Test Kit” Scams?
Yes, scammers have been targeting Medicare recipients with a fake offer to get “free COVID tests”. They’re calling and running websites, online and television ads to try to convince people to give their Medicare information. But if you give them your information, they’ll bill fraudulent charges to Medicare. Read more here FTC Consumer Alerts – Free COVID Test scam.
Can I use an at-home COVID-19 test if it was left outside in freezing temperatures?
Since shipping conditions may vary, test developers perform stability testing to ensure that the test performance will remain stable when tests are stored at various temperatures, including shipping during the summer in very hot regions and in the winter in very cold regions.
However, test performance may be impacted if the test is used while it is still cold, such as being used outdoors in freezing temperatures or being used immediately after being brought inside from freezing temperatures. The stated performance generally assumes the test is being performed in an environment that is between 15-30⁰C (approximately 59-86⁰F). The specific conditions that were validated are included in the authorized Instructions for Use for each test.
In order to ensure appropriate test performance with a test that is delivered to you in below freezing temperatures, you should bring the package inside your home and leave it unopened at room temperature for at least two hours before opening it. Once the package is at room temperature, you may open it and perform the test according to the authorized instructions for use. For more information visit: At-Home COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests: Frequently Asked Questions