As of September 25, every U.S. household can again place an order to receive four more free COVID-19 rapid test kits delivered directly to their home for free.
The U.S. government will continue to make COVID-19 tests available to uninsured individuals and underserved communities through existing outreach programs. Please contact a HRSA health center, Test to Treat site, or ICATT location near you to learn how to access low- or no-cost COVID-19 tests provided by the federal government.
The tests available for order are:
- Are rapid antigen at-home tests, not PCR.
- Can be taken at home or other locations. Give results within 30 minutes (no lab drop-off required).
- Can be used for testing whether you have COVID-19 symptoms or not.
- Can be used for testing whether you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines or not.
- Are also referred to as self-tests or over the counter (OTC) tests.
To order your free tests, visit:
With the start of fall, and the possibility of increases in circulating respiratory viruses, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) recommends that everyone who is eligible receives the updated COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccines, especially those who are at elevated risk for severe illness or death from a COVID and/or influenza infection.
Protection from the new COVID-19 vaccine has been shown in studies to provide a boost to the immune system and reduce severe illness for those infected; this protection will be beneficial through the fall and winter months when it is easier to get exposed to COVID-19 as many activities move indoors and there is increased travel and gatherings for the holidays.
In each of the past three winters, LA County has seen a substantial increase in COVID cases, hospitalizations and tragically, deaths. Last winter, comparing Nov. 1 to Jan. 1, hospitalizations tripled and deaths quadrupled.
With COVID-19 rates also expected to rise this winter, it is especially important for people in groups that have experienced more illness severity to take advantage of the easy access to the updated COVID vaccines. In Los Angeles County, data shows that certain groups of people are more vulnerable for severe illness from COVID-19 and this continues to be true, especially for older people and Black and Brown residents.
While hospitalization and death rates have been lower this year compared to this time last year, there are still significant numbers of people who are hospitalized and who, tragically, pass away.
Over the 90-day period ending Sept. 4, the COVID hospitalization rate among people 65 and older was 10 times higher than the hospitalization rate among people younger than 65. Within the 65+ group, residents 80 and over are at particularly high risk, with a hospitalization rate that was more than double the rate for those ages 65-79. For the same time period, the COVID death rate among people 65 and older was 30 times higher than the death rate among people younger than 65, again with residents 80+ at the highest risk.
Overall, looking at the past 90 days in Los Angeles County, people who were not vaccinated against COVID-19 were three times more likely to be hospitalized and four times more likely to die from COVID-19 than people who were vaccinated.
While the vaccine will benefit everyone, it is especially important for people with higher risk for poor outcomes if infected with COVID-19 to get the updated COVID-19 vaccine. Each day, more and more sites around Los Angeles County are receiving their doses and they expect that more than 1,000 unique vaccination sites in Los Angeles County will have the updated vaccine over the next few weeks. Of these sites, over 400 will offer vaccines under the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Bridge Access Program for people who are uninsured or underinsured, including at all Public Health vaccination sites. For people with health insurance plans, there should be no out-of-pocket costs although some residents may need to get vaccinated at a network provider site to avoid any costs.
A full list of vaccine sites can be found a ph.lacounty.gov/vaccines by clicking the links under the ‘Get Vaccinated’ section of the site.