Free COVID-19 tests now available for all US households

Jan 19, 2022, 7:53 AM
covid tests...
President Joe Biden, accompanied by FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell, speaks about the government's COVID-19 response on Jan. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Americans can now order four free COVID-19 rapid antigen tests for their household through the federal government.

Order the rapid tests online here.

It’s not yet known what brand will be sent out, as KIRO 7 TV’s Lauren Donovan reports, but all brands on the market have FDA emergency use authorization. Experts say they all seem to work when it comes to detecting the omicron variant.

That said, keep in mind that schools and day cares are unlikely to accept at-home results, and still may require a negative result administrated by a medical professional.

King County COVID cases finally trending down, but ‘we’re not out of the woods yet’

There is one other caution about the rapid antigen at-home tests from a UW Medicine specialist, which is that this type of test works best if you are feeling sick with symptoms of COVID-19.

“I think it is a great thing for someone to have either to buy at the drugstore or to have a stash of these things at home, if they have them to access — if they get the sniffles, or a fever, or a cough, or short of breath — to get a really quick idea of what this could be,” said Dr. Geoff Baird in a news release from UW Medicine.

“A use that’s not so good though, however, is completely asymptomatic individuals testing themselves to see if it’s safe to go have a family reunion, or go to the theatre, or go to an event, go into close quarters,” he added.

Dr. Baird, the chair of laboratory medicine and pathology at the UW School of Medicine, also noted that an antigen rapid test does provide a “pretty reliable result.”

UW doctor: When to use a PCR versus rapid antigen test for COVID-19

For those who have been able to find COVID at-home test kits in Washington, beware of price gouging. Complaints were filed with the state Attorney General’s Office by consumers who said they saw $15 tests being sold for $50 online. If you suspect price gouging on a test kit, report it here.

The Biden administration also reportedly plans to distribute 400 million N95 masks to Americans for free starting next week.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.

Local News

Photo from Kitsap Daily News...
KIRO 7 News Staff

LGBTQ+ book previously pulled from Kent middle school library will return to shelves

An LGBTQ book that was previously pulled from a Kent middle school library will go back on its shelves.
1 day ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Mysterious 2021 death of Renton family ruled starvation by fasting

A Renton father and two daughters - found dead in December of 2021 "under mysterious circumstances" - died of starvation.
1 day ago
Dalton Day

SCOTUS limits EPA’s ability to regulate emissions in ‘stunning reversal of environmental laws’

The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has ruled on a 6-3 margin that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cannot regulate coal and natural gas plants.
1 day ago
Photo by David Ryder...
MyNorthwest Staff

Seattle ranked among the worst managed cities, new study finds

When it comes to city management Seattle has been ranked 118 out of 150 of the largest cities in a new study compiled by WalletHub.
1 day ago
Follow @http://twitter.com/Mynorthwest...
MyNorthwest Staff

With slower response times from SPD, city council raises concerns over ‘customer service issues’

The Seattle 911 Center handles approximately 900,000 calls per year, and the call center's staffing is 26% below what it’s budgeted for in 2022.
1 day ago
Photo from Darren Dedo...
MyNorthwest Staff

Martin Luther King Way shut down as police investigate oil drum with Thin Blue Line flag

Seattle Police Department is currently investigating a mysterious blue barrel with a Thin Blue Line flag in Columbia City.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Free COVID-19 tests now available for all US households