How to Get Your 8 Free At-Home Covid-19 Tests (2022)

According to the CDC, you should have a test as soon as you start to notice symptoms or within five days of exposure. If you are asymptomatic and your first test is negative, perform another test according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This is usually within two to three days of the first test; most tests include two tests for this reason. If your test is positive, take another test to verify it and quarantine it for five days.

Need a test right now?

If you need a test as soon as possible, check it out our guide to 12 good Covid-19 quick tests at home and where to find them. It also has more information on accuracy. Quick tests usually show results in about 15 minutes, but are only 85% accurate.

The tests we recommend (see our guide to more retailers). Preliminary results show that outstanding tests can detect the new variant of Omicron:

Common problems using the site

Although the government took two years to figure out this plan, it is not without its flaws. Hopefully, you’ll be able to complete your application in minutes. But here are some common problems we have seen.

Do you live in an apartment or work space?

During the first round, many apartment dwellers were unable to apply for proof because their multi-unit building was classified as a single house. If anyone in the whole buildingg placed a test order, the system thought it was asking for more than the assigned number per household.

This should be resolved, but if you find this is happening again, please submit a service request here. Representative Jerry Nadler of Manhattan also tweeted about it. Anecdotally, Nadler tweeted that some people have been able to solve the problem by making sure everything is correct by searching the USPS zip code. You can also try entering the unit number of your apartment in the same box as your address instead of the Apt / Suite / Other box. However, several WIRED staff members were unable to request evidence using any of these methods.

The same thing happened with those who live in a live work building, which is common in the California Bay Area. The system sees these addresses as companies and will not send evidence. You must also submit a service request.

Do you have more than eight people in your home?

If you’ve used up all your tests or just have an older family, you’re out of luck when it comes to free home equipment. You can buy more if you need them.

Don’t you speak English, Spanish or Chinese?

The website has only three language options right now, English, Spanish and Chinese. It is unclear whether the helpline mentioned above (1-800-232-0233) will be able to help people who do not speak any of these three.

Are you homeless?

The site indicates that this evidence is sent only to valid residential addresses and residential mailboxes. One of the most frequently asked questions is whether the tests can be collected elsewhere or held at the USPS, and unfortunately the answer is no. If you are currently homeless, please contact your local health care agency for a free trial.

President Biden said 400 million N95 masks will also be available free of charge for collection at community pharmacies and health centers. Some WIRED staff found some at their local Walgreens and CVS locations, but not all. If you can’t find any for free, we have a few guides per facial mask recommendations this should help keep you safe.

If you’ve consistently followed the CDC’s recommendations, you know that they’ve changed several times as we’ve been browsing the virus. N95s are the best bet to keep you and those around you safe (we have more information on the types of masks and their effectiveness in the N95 guide), but as the CDC says, any mask is better than no mask. .

Vaccines and reinforcements

Getting vaccinated will not prevent you from getting Covid-19, but it could relieve the worst and most dangerous symptoms. We recommend that you get vaccinated if you have not already done so, and if you do, get a booster shot. should help you find a place near you with vaccines available: a search of my zip code showed 50 places within six miles.

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