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Today Is Your Last Chance to Order Free COVID-19 Tests

Negative COVID-19 rapid tests lie on a table in Germany on Feb. 11, 2022. Credit - Thomas Trutschel/Photothek—Getty Images

March 8 is your last day to order free rapid COVID-19 tests, as the U.S. government prepares to suspend its at-home test program. Households in the U.S. can receive at least four rapid antigen tests, free of charge, simply by entering a name and address.

The federal government has been shipping free tests since early 2022. The program was suspended for a few months in 2023, after the U.S. government stopped considering COVID-19 a public-health emergency, but was reinstated this past fall, as new variants began to spread and cause upticks in infections and hospitalizations. Now, the free testing initiative is again coming to an end.

Today is the last day the U.S. Postal Service will accept orders, here. Households that have not ordered any tests since the program was reinstated in September 2023 can place two orders of four tests each, while those that have ordered more recently can get one set of four tests.

Rapid tests will also remain for sale in retail stores, and may be available for free through certain community organizations, after March 8.

The end of the government's free testing program is the latest in a string of public-health decisions that signal officials are moving on from COVID-19. On March 1, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ended its long-standing recommendation that people isolate themselves from others for at least five days when they have COVID-19. Instead, the agency now recommends that people stay home until they’ve been fever-free for at least 24 hours and their other symptoms are improving—an approach that brings COVID-19 guidance in line with that of the flu and other common respiratory diseases.

Write to Jamie Ducharme at jamie.ducharme@time.com.