Federal government wants to stop free COVID-19 home tests by the beginning of September

The federal government will suspend its offer of free at-home COVID-19 testing through Friday, September 2 without Congressional approval for an extension.

The US Postal Service’s page for ordering the tests says orders will be put on hold until next Friday “or sooner if supplies run out.”

“Ordering through this program will be suspended on Friday, September 2, because Congress has failed to allocate additional funds to replenish the nation’s stockpile of tests,” read a message on the federal government‘s COVID-19 website .

The Biden administration originally announced it would offer 1 billion free at-home COVID-19 tests in January. The federal government used COVID-19 funds from the American Rescue Plan, President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan and the COVID-19 recovery package he signed last year.

Biden has since offered additional rounds of tests for Americans to order, most recently in May. Households were able to order a further eight tests in the most recent round.

The seven-day moving average of COVID-19 cases has declined slightly over the past few weeks after a surge sparked by the highly contagious BA.5 omicron subvariant. But a senior government official told USA Today the government must stick to testing for a possible fall surge.

The official said the administration will use its existing “limited” resources to get as many tests as possible, but distribution could resume on a large scale if Congress allocates the funds to do so.

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