In an effort to increase access to at-home rapid tests across the state, the Washington State Department of Health said Friday it is launching a statewide portal that will allow COVID-19 tests to ship directly to households. Beginning Friday, Washington state residents will be able to visit www.sayyescovidhometest.org to order rapid-antigen COVID tests online, and will receive those tests delivered at no cost. People can order up to five free tests for a household. However, supply will be limited at first, and will restock as supply into the state increases.
“We anticipate people’s initial need in the test kits will exceed our current supply pretty quickly, but our focus is sharing what we have right now,” said Lacy Fehrenbach, MPH, CPH, deputy secretary for prevention & health. “We want to make sure the tests we have are in homes when our state needs testing the most – during this current surge.”
This is a statewide expansion of the ongoing partnership with CareEvolution and Amazon, a pilot program that delivered 800,000 tests in parts of Eastern Washington. Following the success of that program, the health department reached out to expand the partnership across the state to offer tests to all Washingtonians.
“This is an important step toward making tests more widely available across the state,” said Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, secretary of health. “As we work with our federal partners, we look forward to seeing an increase in the number of tests flowing directly into people’s homes over the next several weeks.”
People can still get COVID-19 tests through any of the following options:
- Order free at-home COVID-19 tests through the federal program COVIDtests.gov.
- Purchase an at-home test at local retailers and pharmacies.
- If you have health insurance, most insurers will now directly cover or pay you back for up to eight at-home tests per month, for each person on your plan.
- Find a test at a testing location near you.
It is possible to report a positive test result from an at-home test through the state’s COVID-19 hotline. Hotline personnel will determine next steps based on your ZIP code so results can be recorded and reported. Staff can also guide callers through any questions they may have. The state hotline, 1-800-525-0127 (then press #), is available Monday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Tuesday to Sunday (and observed holidays) 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Language assistance is available.
The health department encourages all smartphone users to download or enable WA Notify for exposure notifications and to plug in positive results. Those using WA Notify at the time they test positive for COVID-19 can record their positive test results directly into WA Notify on their devices.
The department adds that there is a surge in cases statewide, so if you have symptoms, you should assume you have COVID-19 even if you don’t have a test to confirm it, and stay home if you’re sick.
Tests can be ordered here: