The federal government plans to hit pause this week on a program that sends free at-home rapid Covid-19 tests to U.S. households.
“Ordering through this program will be suspended on Friday, September 2 because Congress hasn’t provided additional funding to replenish the nation’s stockpile of tests,” said a post on COVIDTests.gov, the federal website where tests can be ordered.
The Biden administration has pushed Congress for billions in additional funding for Covid-19 vaccines, boosters, treatments and testing. Senate lawmakers negotiated a bipartisan spending deal to repurpose $10 billion in funds for Covid-19, but that deal got hung up.
Orders for the free at-home tests will continue to be accepted until Sept. 2.
Since the program began in January, more than 350 million free tests have been delivered, according to the White House.
Many people embraced rapid, antigen tests to check their status before work, travel or socializing, as Omicron variants were quickly spreading. But rapid-test production and demand have declined overall since the spring, data suggests, as people take fewer pandemic precautions.
The Biden administration in May announced a third round of free tests available through COVIDTests.gov. People could request up to eight at-home tests per order—bringing the total of free Covid-19 kits available to each household since the start of the program to 16.
The third round of tests available were purchased by the federal government earlier this year.