WASHINGTON - A second round of free at-home COVID tests is now available for any households in need. The White House announced an update to a program launched in January that makes at-home tests available to all households.
The tests available are rapid antigen at-home tests, not PCR tests which can be used anywhere. Test results are received within 30 minutes and don’t require drop-off at a lab. The tests work whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms, or whether or not you’re current with your COVID-19 vaccines.
On Monday, the White House posted a video on Twitter featuring President Joe Biden discussing the availability of the at-home 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 for free, so we’re prepared no matter what COVID-19 brings," Biden said.
Earlier this year, Biden announced his administration would make available 500 million free COVID tests to anyone who wanted one.
The White House announced that Americans have placed 68 million orders for packages of the at-home COVID-19 tests, which leaves roughly 46% of the stock of tests, or nearly half, still available to be ordered.
This month, the White House said COVID-19 testing manufacturers would begin to slow production of at-home rapid tests unless the federal government signs contracts to buy more. Officials stated that could result in a supply crunch should there be another surge in virus cases.
The United States has the biggest official virus death toll in the world, but the numbers have been trending downward over the last month.
COVID-19 cases have fallen to their lowest level since last summer in recent weeks after a winter spike from the highly transmissible omicron variant. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the current 7-day moving average for positive cases now hovers around 68,000 compared to more than 807,000 in mid-January.
Deaths, though, which lag cases by weeks, are still elevated, with an average of nearly 1,700 people dying in the U.S. each day. Officials emphasize that most instances of serious illnesses and death in the U.S. occur among those who are unvaccinated or who have not received a booster dose of vaccine.
FOX 10 Phoenix and the Associated Press contributed to this story. This story was reported from Washington, D.C.