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caption: After waiting in line for an antigen test, Seattle Public Schools students put their test on a paper plate and waited 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, they or their parents uploaded the result online using a QR code.
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After waiting in line for an antigen test, Seattle Public Schools students put their test on a paper plate and waited 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, they or their parents uploaded the result online using a QR code.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Washington state offers free at-home Covid tests

Starting Friday, Washingtonians can order free, at-home Covid tests online from the state Department of Health.

Each household in Washington is eligible to receive one kit of the rapid antigen tests, available in packs of four to five tests. Officials say residents who order them can expect to receive them within two weeks.

The tests, which can be ordered via the website sayyescovidhometest.org, are currently in limited supply.

While state officials have articulated a commitment to distributing 3 million tests to Washingtonians for home use, they say they only have approximately 650,000 of them to ship at the moment. They're encouraging people to only order the tests if they don't already have some on hand.

"If you look at your medicine cabinet right now you've got five or 10 or... you feel you don't need them or you can buy them somewhere, you can go to the federal website, you can get it from your insurance, please be kind and do that," said Dr. Umair Shah, the state health secretary during a media briefing Friday morning.

People with positive home Covid test results can report them to the Washington State Department of Health using the state's smartphone-based WA Notify system.

Officials say an additional 1 million tests will go to community testing sites, while another 1 million tests are slated to go to schools around the state.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.