Free COVID Tests Available From Federal Gov Portal 

Households across the country can start ordering four free COVID tests beginning on Monday, Sept. 25 through the government’s portal. Tests will be shipped starting Oct. 2 through the U.S. Postal Service.

These tests will detect the currently circulating COVID-19 variants. People are advised to check if the expiration dates of COVID-19 tests they have on hand have been extended. 

The four at-home tests that will be shipped are coming out of a supply that will remain usable through at least the end of this year, under expiration date extensions greenlighted by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Will Federal Government Shutdown Affect This? 

The shipping of tests will not be directly affected by a potential government shutdown if Congress fails to pass a funding bill by the end of the month, according to

“We have been looking at what we’ve seen before in the increase in cases. We think being able to make tests available is just an important tool that we have and can make available,” said Dawn O’Connell, head of the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR), which oversees the federal stockpile of tests.

COVID Test Manufacturing Grants 

ASPR is awarding $600 million across a dozen manufacturers to continue producing COVID-19 tests in the U.S. and the reopening of to deliver COVID-19 tests for free to households across the country. 

Funds will also secure approximately 200 million new over-the-counter COVID-19 tests for future federal government use.

Grants were awarded to two companies from New Jersey: $88.7 million to Access Bio in Somerset and $28.7 million to Princeton BioMeditech in Monmouth Junction. 

“The Biden-Harris Administration, in partnership with domestic manufacturers, has made great strides in addressing vulnerabilities in the U.S. supply chain by reducing our reliance on overseas manufacturing,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “These critical investments will strengthen our nation’s production levels of domestic at-home COVID-19 rapid tests and help mitigate the spread of the virus.”