Advance Notice: Briefs

Here’s how you can order free COVID tests now

By: - January 18, 2022 7:32 pm

COVID-19 home tests | Ross Williams/States Newsroom

The federal government launched a website to order free at-home tests for COVID-19 Tuesday, one day ahead of schedule.

Each residential address is eligible to receive four tests total, regardless of household size, which will be shipped completely free of charge in an estimated seven to 12 days.

Individuals can sign up for their tests by visiting or calling (281) 801-5285 in English or (281) 801-9590 in Spanish.

“The federal program to deliver free tests to every family is simple, easy, and effective. It will remove barriers to testing including time and cost and make it easier for Michiganders to get tested,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “Testing is a crucial tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and I encourage every Michigander to claim their free COVID-19 tests at”

Some social media users who live in apartments reported issues requesting their tests, receiving a message that the kits were already ordered for their address.

The website notes that it is currently in a testing phase ahead of the full launch Wednesday morning.

“We have tests for every residential address in the U.S. Please check back tomorrow if you run into any unexpected issues,” the website reads.

Initially, the President Joe Biden administration acquired 500 million tests to distribute through the website, though they have since doubled that to 1 billion tests to meet future demand amid a surge in cases fueled by the Omicron variant.

Biden also said that his administration would be making high-quality masks available in the coming weeks, with details on how to request those expected to be coming later this week.

“Testing in addition to getting vaccinated and wearing masks are extremely effective tools in preventing the spread of COVID-19,” said Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Director Elizabeth Hertel. “We are grateful for the efforts the federal government is taking to make testing easy and accessible for all Michiganders. We hope all households in our state will take advantage of this resource.”

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Andrew Roth
Andrew Roth

Andrew Roth is a reporting intern with the Michigan Advance. He has been covering Michigan policy and politics for three years across a number of publications and studies journalism at Michigan State University.