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You Can Order 4 Free, At-Home COVID Tests Right Now. Here’s How To Do It

The federal government has promised to provide 500 million at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests to Americans.

A CVS in the Loop warns shoppers about the shortage of COVID-19 tests.
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CHICAGO — Any household in the United States can now order four free COVID-19 tests from the government.

The federal government has promised to provide 500 million at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests to Americans. It launched a website Tuesday where anyone can order four tests to be shipped to their home. Click here to order the tests.

The tests are completely free, with a limit of one order per address. The orders will ship in late January and are not expected to arrive until the end of this month, at the earliest.

The tests will be shipped through the U.S. Postal Service.

RELATED: COVID Tests Seemed To Vanish Just When Chicagoans Needed Them Most — And Despite Officials Predicting Surges For Months

The move comes as the United States is in the midst of another COVID-19 wave, this one fueled by the Omicron variant. For weeks, Americans have struggled to access trustworthy testing, with appointments booked up and at-home tests sold out in many places.

But some places, including Chicago and Illinois, are seeing early signs their case growth could be slowing down.

That means the government’s tests could come as the wave — and, with it, testing demand — is subsiding.

Vaccinations:

• In Illinois, about 7.8 million people — or 61.48 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data.

• Across the state, 47,010 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 20,054,921 vaccine doses of the 22,588,965 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.7 million Chicagoans — or 65.5 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 73.5 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.

Everyone 5 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Chicago.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and do not require insurance. Anyone can call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 to get more information on how and where to get vaccinated in their community.

The numbers:

• Since Friday, 251 Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19.

• At least 29,350 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 3,501 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 93,343 cases since Friday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 2,682,983.

• Since Friday, 816,882 tests were reported statewide. In all, 48,765,976 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day case positivity rate was at 12.2 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 10.6 percent Friday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 15.4 percent. It was at 15.6 percent Friday.

• As of Monday night, 1,120 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 628 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, 27 deaths were reported since Friday. There have been at least 6,555 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. As of Friday, the city was seeing an average of 20 people dying per day, up 38 percent from a week prior.

• Chicago has had 13,200 confirmed cases reported since Friday. It’s had a total of 512,180 confirmed cases. An average of 4,378 confirmed cases were being reported per day, down 24 percent from a week prior, as of Friday.

• Testing in Chicago was down 18 percent from a week prior as of Friday.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 17.4 percent, down from 19.2 percent the week prior, as of Friday.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers.

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