Get free at-home Covid tests from Uncle Sam starting this week

Originally published at: Get free at-home Covid tests from Uncle Sam starting this week | Boing Boing


Now taking bets on how many seconds before it crashes after it goes live.


And how good will its brand be? Eh, I will order from Amazon.

Americans who are upset with being sent free RATs by the government, tell you what: I’ll swap you for the Australian government’s response.

Which is to tell us that RATs are compulsory, but they’re not going to provide any because they don’t want to get in the way of you buying them for full price or more (like, say, $50 each for tests which cost $11 wholesale) from the free market, only you can’t because the free market can’t get enough of them, and even if they could it turns out the government is buying out entire shipments at the dock which had already been bought for sale in shops, so they never make it as far as a shop which will sell one to you.

But sure, being able to ask the government for some, and getting them for free is a horrible idea. Cool story bro.


It’s likely going to be a crap shoot. Last I read Abbot, IHealth, and Roche were all awarded contracts with a few other laboratories still waiting on approval. Expect those that were manufactured on contract to be super generic. The US federal government doesn’t like branding on things they buy direct but things do sneak in (Look up surplus MRE tasting videos to see what I mean). On top of that there is some signs suggesting that they bought some from medical suppliers that had surplus.


I dunno. I am in the UK and even our government has not managed to foul that up. There might be enough actual people out there to make it work, whatever the internets may tell you.


What I was trying to get at is who manufactured the test one receives is going to be random, because it’s not just one company making them. It might be a surplus over the counter test, it might be hard to tell who manufactured it depending on how the Feds awarded the contract. Apart from the chances of a bad lots that happen in any kind of manufacturing I trust that they will work just fine.

Will it test for the microchip and nanobots?

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Tastes like cheese.

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Ordered one from Amazon on January 3. Predicted 2 week delivery. It’s not here yet, and the best is the tracking update to “We’re very sorry your delivery is late. We apologize for the inconvenience.”. The product page shows one ordered today with expected delivery in 2 weeks.

I got a bunch from Walmart back in December before they raised the price, but we’ve used most of those already.


I thought a little ahead and bought some iHealth and Binax tests just in case before the holidays because I’ve seen my government work. I won’t order any of the free ones until everyone who can’t afford them gets some. But four tests per house won’t be of much help especially if someone suspects covid and needs a test right away.

Our local health department stopped walk up rapid testing due to lack of tests. They are still doing PCR but reports are that results are taking days which is also pretty useless.

I posted this in the coronavirus happenings topic but…

On day one my Facebook feed will be filled with people who will never get vaccinated, tested or wear a mask, complaining that they can’t get on the site to get a test.

Then several days later once people start getting tests my feed will be filled with those same people wasting the tests on things they were never meant to be used on to show how everything tests positive or negative.


Same issue when I ordered the iHealth test back in December. I ordered four OnGo kits in late December and early January that were delivered within two weeks.


I checked my insurance coverage too, which seems to be trying to figure out how to support covering tests still, and it’s interesting that both that and this are counting each individual test. It’s not 4 “two packs”, it’s “4 individual tests”. For the insurance, it’s 8 individual tests, just 4 two packs.

When you read the directions that come with the two packs, they all include taking both tests with some time in between. So, if you’re doing that because you meet the scenario where that makes sense, you’re really only getting half the testing.

Of course, most people (and we did this too), probably just take 1 and aren’t really using it as intended.

Same with non-COVID stuff like CR123 batteries. Still not there. I guess too many people are getting sick to deliver. :frowning:

The site has apparently gone live early. I was just able to put in an order. They’re saying the “initial rollout” is only 4 tests per household; not going to last long unless you live alone. I know they’ve ordered a billion tests so here’s hoping they ramp it up soon.


There’s 5 people in my household; how do we decide who doesn’t get tested? Do I just test one of my twins?


Yeah my sister-in-law has 5 kids, plus her spouse is a dentist which is a pretty risky profession to be in right now.


Assuming you have insurance, you also get 8/person/month that your insurance is required to reimburse you. My insurance (UHC) actually does it right at the counter. I literally show my insurance card at Walmart, RiteAid, or Bartell and it’s free.


Live now and hasn’t crashed yet.