Oregon provides millions of COVID-19 test kits to communities most affected by pandemic

Oregon is one step closer to helping protect its residents from severe disease from COVID-19 and the highly contagious Omicron variant. Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has purchased six million iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test kits, with each kit containing two tests, for a total of 12 million tests. So far, 1.3 million kits have been sent to community partners, which will begin offering them to the people they serve over the coming weeks.

The tests are going directly to groups where workers or the people they serve have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, and who are most at risk for infection, severe illness and death. Community-based organizations (CBOs) serving those with limited access to testing are one of the top priorities, along with other community partners in public health, education and community services.

These groups will give test kits to the people they serve when they have COVID-19 symptoms or when they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. The tests cannot be used for screening purposes, such as for travel or work.

This test kit distribution plan is an Oregon plan. It is separate from the plan recently announced by the White House to send free at-home tests directly to people’s homes. To order free tests from the federal government (four per residential address), go to COVIDtests.gov. If you purchase at-home test kits from a pharmacy or other retailer, private insurance may reimburse the cost of up to eight self-test kits per person, per month. Oregon Health Plan members may also receive up to four free at-home tests per month at pharmacies or retailers.

To find a high-volume testing site near you, visit our regularly updated blog page for locations, hours, and how to make appointments. The testing is free and does not require proof of insurance or immigration status.