Accessibility of healthcare and COVID-19 prevention tools has been a serious topic of conversation the past two years, amidst the coronavirus and its many strains. The Biden administration launched its at-home COVID-19 test kit and its website on January 19th. Here is what you need to know about how to get the at-home tests and the accompanying N95 masks.

U.S. government offers free at-home testing

This new government effort will provide up to four at-home COVID tests per family. According to the White House press release that was given on January 14, "Public health experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that Americans use at-home tests if they begin to have symptoms, at least five days after coming in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or are gathering indoors with a group of people who are at risk of severe disease or unvaccinated."

The accessibility of this program offers Americans a way to easily mitigate their own risk as well as the risk they might pose to their family and community. According to the CDC, a robust and responsive testing infrastructure is a very important component in stopping the spread of COVID-19. The rollout of free tests is a step in the right direction.

How to get your tests

In order to provide four free tests to every American household, the Biden Administration purchased "one billion at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests." Because these tests have already been procured, they have partnered with the United States Postal Service (USPS) to package and deliver tests to those who order them.

To order your tests simply go to the site that is devoted to distributing them. It is important to note that the tests take 7-12 days to ship Because of this, it's recommended to order the four free kits before you may need them so that you are prepared with resources already at home versus running around to find at-home testing options once sick or exposed. If you or someone in your household needs a test as soon as possible, check out this state-based resource.

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

Getting your free N95 masks

Not only is the government offering free tests, they are also providing N95 masks to those who request them. The White House announced that the masks will come from the government's Strategic National Stockpile, which has more than 750 million masks available.

The masks are available for pickup at community health centers that have partnered with the federal government's COVID-19 vaccination campaign. The program begins January 24, and is thought to be fully rolled out at the beginning of February, according to the Wall Street Journal. This project is not fully-fledged yet, but the first murmurings are promising.

The new free at-home COVID-19 testing and masks are an exciting opportunity to help fight the pandemic. Check out the government website to get started today!