For immediate release: November 23, 2022 (22-172)
Media contact: DOH Communications
DOH encourages community to take advantage of free tests while supplies last
OLYMPIA – Washington State Department of Health (DOH) will continue to provide free COVID-19 home test kits to residents at least through the end of 2022, despite the end of federal financial support for testing programs. With upper respiratory season at a high peak, at-home tests offer a way for individuals to check their COVID status without needing to access the healthcare system.
Washingtonians can order up to 10 free at-home test kits per month through the “Say Yes! COVID Test” program. To order, visit sayyescovidhometest.org. The kits are delivered to the requester’s home or work address, free of charge.
The antigen tests take 15 minutes to complete, offering users a convenient way to check whether they are infected with COVID-19. Users can follow up with a test from a medical provider or test site to verify results. Those testing positive can report their test result to Washington's COVID-19 hotline at 1–800–525–0127. More information and resources available here.
Testing is one of the key ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, along with staying current on vaccines, wearing a well-fitted mask in crowded or poorly ventilated indoor settings, frequent handwashing, and staying home when sick. DOH encourages everyone to get their flu shot and activate WA notify on their phones, which allows you to receive or send anonymous notification if you have come in contact with someone who tested positive.
These precautions are especially important now because hospitals and emergency rooms are operating at a higher than usual capacity due to a surge in respiratory viruses. Consider taking a COVID-19 test prior to a gathering, especially if you are getting together with people who are older, immunocompromised, or at risk for severe disease.
DOH first started the program in January 2022, in a partnership with the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Care Evolution, Amazon, and other community partners. Since then, DOH has received over 2.5 million orders, distributing 12.5 million test kits in Washington.
For more information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit https://doh.wa.gov/emergencies/covid-19.