Get Free COVID-19 Tests

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Source: City of Santa Barbara

Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests from the federal government. The tests are completely free. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days. Order your tests now so you have them when you need them.


The tests available for order:

  • Are rapid antigen at-home tests, not PCR
  • Can be taken anywhere
  • Give results within 30 minutes (no lab drop-off required)
  • Work whether or not you have COVID-⁠19 symptoms
  • Work whether or not you are up to date on your COVID-⁠19 vaccines
  • Are also referred to as self-tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests

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mp805 Jan 18, 2022 12:51 PM
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Test are completely free? If you believe that I have a bridge to sell you :) Insurance companies will most likely pass the cost on through higher premiums

GeneralTree Jan 18, 2022 01:03 PM
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The White House estimates the cost of purchasing and distributing the first 500 million tests at about $4 billion. That will be paid for with money from the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill Biden signed into law in March. The more you know....

Chip of SB Jan 18, 2022 01:29 PM
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Paid for by taxes, fees, or a reduction in the purchasing power of your wages/savings.

MarcelK Jan 19, 2022 03:10 PM
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Taxes are investments in society. Sociopaths hate them.

dukemunson Jan 19, 2022 08:45 PM
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Yes… but the government is truly horrible at investing. So (honestly speaking) only sociopaths (and those not paying) can truly love them… the rest of can and should be questioning on at least some level…

pstarSR Jan 20, 2022 08:45 AM
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weird, now where did I enter my insurance info to get these free tests. weird

GeneralTree Jan 18, 2022 01:00 PM
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Test kits are available through the USPS website and you can order starting now.

Mesarats Jan 18, 2022 04:56 PM
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Thanks for posting link, the city post didn’t have it

a-1642556817 Jan 18, 2022 05:46 PM
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You can also click the last line (in red) of the article above, “Read more…”

sacjon Jan 18, 2022 01:35 PM
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MP and CHIP - good Lord men.... you can't even accept a free covid test without moaning about it.

GeneralTree Jan 18, 2022 01:53 PM
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They get upset if the go to the pharmacy and the prices are too high or there are no tests to be found - they get upset if they have the opportunity to get them mailed to them without being charged. Typical angry republican males. Mad about everything.

chico berkeley Jan 19, 2022 09:32 AM
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Their point is probably that nothing from the Gov't is free.
And yes,China is our enemy if you haven't been paying attention,oh the last 3 thousand years or so,and lately it is apparent if you can actually think comprehensively.
Yea thanks Nixon (Dick).

sacjon Jan 19, 2022 03:28 PM
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CHICO - when has China attacked us or any of our strategic interests in the last 3 thousand years? Dude you live in an alternate reality if you think we've been "enemies" with China for 3 thousand years.

A little tidbit of info...... the United States of America is less than 3 hundred (not thousand) years old.

Thanks for the laugh!

a-1642639884 Jan 19, 2022 04:51 PM
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You could have done a quick google search to brush up on some facts first:
December 2021. Chinese hackers breached four more U.S. defense and technology firms in December, in addition to one organization in November. The hackers obtained passwords to gain access to the organizations’ systems and looked to intercept sensitive communications.

dukemunson Jan 18, 2022 02:02 PM
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If you have kids in school (GUSD) the free testing is insanely easy and quick at school, and for family its free, easy and fast at Earl Warren. It's worth signing up (and it's the spit test too)!

sbmh2015 Jan 18, 2022 02:20 PM
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It's so easy. Only have to enter name, address and your email if you want an order confirmation. Took about 15 seconds. I didn't earlier this morning when site went live

Stray Jan 18, 2022 02:31 PM
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Consider the cost for the hospitalization of uninsured and/or unvaccinated patients suffering from COVID. Now consider the lost time cost to quarantine exposed workers at home. Then consider the cost to families to bury their COVID dead. In comparison, government financing to increase self testing, to provide masks, or to provide vaccines is well worth the expense in an effort to curtail this pandemic.

Getoffmylawn Jan 18, 2022 03:22 PM
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So easy unless you have apt number. System doesn't work

GeneralTree Jan 18, 2022 04:09 PM
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Are you using Windows 95 with Netscape Navigator or something? I had no problem using an apt.

bicyclist Jan 18, 2022 06:34 PM
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I got stuck in the loop, saying check address... Of course the building is listed as a business? I get mail for the business & other people, had similar issues with fiber & cable. So, didn't work for me ...lets see if they just mail out a bunch to the "Building".

a-1642564508 Jan 18, 2022 07:55 PM
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I had trouble at first. My last name has a space in it, and their system didn't like that. I removed the space, and the order was placed.

Blue Onion Jan 18, 2022 05:15 PM
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Unbelievable waste of money - I read reviews on iHealths own site and not accurate 1/3 of the time (even says so on the box/package). And once lazies use it to get out of work, the same test ISN'T acceptable to allow you back to work!

Lucky 777 Jan 18, 2022 07:24 PM
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One of my clients works for the pharmaceutical company that makes these tests. He said they are manufactured in Chinese factories for 15 cents each, and the government is buying them for $1.50 each....... love that mark-up. Imagine the profit at the scale of this "free" mail out. And consider that we are dependent on our enemy for the production..... who have an agenda to see us fail. Trust those results?

Mesarats Jan 18, 2022 08:27 PM
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What ever device you are using is manufactured with Chinese components. Get some tinfoil and make yourself a hat

a-1642569246 Jan 18, 2022 09:14 PM
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That isn’t what I heard (source or price) on the news (i.e. not Fox), so, yes, I’ll trust those results.

EastBeach Jan 18, 2022 11:48 PM
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Tucker Carlson fan are you? There are THREE companies supplying the free antigen test kits - Abbott, Roche, and iHealth. Both Abbot and Roche manufacture their test kits in the U.S. iHealth is based in China but I couldn't find out where their manufacturing is. Not that it matters to any reasonable person .....

sacjon Jan 19, 2022 08:24 AM
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LUCKY 777 - ewwww, you're one of those? Since when is China "our enemy?" You truly believe they're out to get us? Blech!

LCP112233 Jan 19, 2022 12:48 PM
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Seriously? China should be provide these tests to the entire world free of charge.

sacjon Jan 19, 2022 02:48 PM
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LCP112233 - why should China foot the bill for millions of test kits?

LCP112233 Jan 20, 2022 01:08 PM
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They should foot the bill for many more things than that after the virus that they unleashed onto the globe.

sacjon Jan 20, 2022 01:32 PM
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LCP - because the virus was first discovered in China, they "unleashed it onto the globe?" What if it originated in the US? Would you feel the same?

dukemunson Jan 20, 2022 03:44 PM
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Sac - At best China did everything they could to delay telling the world about COVID and made any real investigation into it's origins impossible. At worst...well...that's a long rabbit hole. Would we have done anything different, maybe, maybe not. But China definitely deserves some blame...

LCP112233 Jan 20, 2022 03:46 PM
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But we didn't. I thought you didn't like "what about"ism.

sacjon Jan 20, 2022 03:49 PM
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LCP - in this case, it's not so much about "whataboutism" as it is as trying to figure out why you think China should bear the costs of the pandemic simply because the first case was found in that country?

sacjon Jan 20, 2022 03:50 PM
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Also, whataboutism is trying to shift blame or deflect away from a losing argument. I'm just trying to ask a hypothetical to get to the root of why you think China is to blame for everything.

sacjon Jan 20, 2022 04:03 PM
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DUKE - of course! China could have helped sooner, yes. But, to say China should foot the bill for world wide testing ignores the cold hard fact that the virus would have escaped China regardless of when China "told the world." No country in 2020 would have been able to contain this.

a-1642723783 Jan 20, 2022 04:09 PM
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Really? No country would have been able to contain this? I'm glad you realize that now because you and many others here blamed the prior administration for not stopping covid from coming into the US. You blamed him, the unvaccinated, and unmasked for it's continued spread and now here we are, finally acceptable to acknowledge no government action was going to stop this, cloth masks don't do anything, only "properly fitted" N95's provide a benefit (IF worn properly) for the wearer but doesn't protect others, and vaccinations won't stop the spread. You've come a long way!

sacjon Jan 20, 2022 04:23 PM
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VOICE at 4:09 - "you and many others here blamed the prior administration for not stopping covid from coming into the US. " WRONG. 100% absolutely FALSE. I never blamed him for covid getting here, I blamed him for refusing to do anything about it for at least half a year once it inevitably got here. I blamed him for calling it a "liberal hoax" as people died. I blamed him for threatening to take money from states who tried to protect their citizens as people died. I blamed him for sowing the seeds of distrust of the medical community and instigating violence against those who chose to listen to their doctors and wear masks as people died.

All those things I blame him for could have saved lives. No, he couldn't have stopped it, but it is indisputable fact that his actions killed thousands of innocent Americans.

a-1642724769 Jan 20, 2022 04:26 PM
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Then by your logic Biden has more blood on his hands than Trump.

a-1642728150 Jan 20, 2022 05:22 PM
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If you're were looking at it impartially, the only action Biden has taken is to threaten the unvaccinated with taking away their jobs, ability to travel, healthcare, etc. if they didn't take a vaccine which we knew at the time wasn't working very well to stop transmission against new variants (and ignored natural immunity). Oh and ban travel from a foreign country which is okay when he does but racist when Trump does it. Prior administration brought us the vaccines, Biden.... I might get that at-home test kit and a few N95 masks in the next month so there's that too. Oh, and thanks god no more mean tweets!

haskelslocal Jan 19, 2022 06:36 AM
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Sending these out where the temperature is below freezing might render chemicals ineffective. Not sure why this wasn't just processed through the same pharmacy/governmental infrastructure that handles vaccinations. It is convenient though. Fun to read the "Privacy Statement" at the bottom. Your info want get out we swear! Except for.... I especially enjoy this exception: "to government agencies in connection with decisions as necessary". Yes, they actually said that. Be safe everyone.

Terrapin Flyer Jan 20, 2022 08:02 AM
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Ignoring the thread-hijacking Edhat trolls (get a life), here’s a legitimate gripe. I live and work off-grid and thus have no choice but to use a (UPS Store) PO Box address. It’s considered a business so no test for me.

SBTownie Jan 20, 2022 01:22 PM
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Too little, too late. Kinda pointless, too, since Omicron doesn't really show up on at home rapid tests...

a-1642714185 Jan 20, 2022 01:29 PM
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Don't spread social media lies.

Study: Rapid Tests Perform Similarly with Omicron as Prior Variants

SBTownie Jan 20, 2022 02:34 PM
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Thanks for the correction. I'm not on social media. This concept was widely reported in mainstream (left-leaning) media in December. Glad the tests work.

Regardless, too little too late. By the time anyone receives a test the surge is over though Omicron is going to continue to spread for the forseeable future just not in as high of numbers as came from the holiday crush.


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