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For Immediate Release
September 1, 2022
Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683

DHS Expands Access to COVID-19 Self-Tests

Wisconsin households now eligible to order a free package of COVID-19 self-tests

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is launching an online program for Wisconsinites to get free at-home rapid COVID-19 tests delivered directly to them. Starting today, Wisconsin residents can go to the Say Yes! COVID Test website and place an order for a package of five rapid antigen COVID-19 tests at no cost. Initial supplies will allow each household to order one package that will arrive in 1-2 weeks.

“It is critical for Wisconsinites to have access to a COVID-19 test when they need one, and this program delivers tests right to their door,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “We encourage all Wisconsin households to have COVID-19 self-tests on hand to protect themselves and those around them.”

Taking a COVID-19 self-test provides results within minutes. This allows people to make decisions that will keep those around them safe. In addition to the Say Yes! COVID Test program, Wisconsinites can access a COVID-19 test by:

  • Purchasing self-tests through pharmacies, retail outlets, or online. Self-tests are widely available at pharmacies and other retail stores across the state.
  • Using health insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare plans to cover the cost of self-tests. Private insurers and some Medicare plans continue to cover the cost of eight rapid COVID-19 tests per member each month. Members of BadgerCare Plus and most Wisconsin Medicaid programs can also receive COVID-19 tests from Medicaid-enrolled pharmacies using their ForwardHealth ID card. People are encouraged to contact their health insurance program for more information.
  • Visiting a free local community testing site. There are currently over 500 community testing sites across the state.
  • Contacting a health care provider. Your local or tribal health department, primary health care provider, or community health center can help find a test near you.

In addition, DHS has recently launched programs to provide local and tribal health departments, K-12 schools, and shelters with access to self-tests for distribution to the populations they serve. Through these programs, nearly 464,000 self-tests have been made available to community organizations and the public since May. Test kits continue to be ordered and distributed to these entities for distribution.

“Continuing to support equitable access to COVID-19 testing remains a top priority,” said DHS Deputy Secretary Deb Standridge. “Rapid results from a self-test allows people to test for COVID-19 at home and make decisions that will help keep them and those around them safe.”

To obtain reliable results and help stop the spread of COVID-19, it is important to know when to take a test. Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, should take a test immediately. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, should take a COVID-19 test five days after being exposed to someone with COVID-19.

If you test positive with a COVID-19 self-test, stay home, separate yourself from others, and notify your close contacts who were exposed. Contact a doctor, community health center, or pharmacy to see if COVID-19 treatments may be recommended for you.

The Say Yes! COVID Test program is funded in part through the American Rescue Plan and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funds.

For free, confidential support placing an order for your household's test package or finding health care and community resources near you, dial 211. For information, resources, and data related to COVID-19 in Wisconsin, visit the COVID-19 webpage. You can also follow @DHSWI on Facebook, Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram for more information on COVID-19.

Last revised September 1, 2022