There's still time, but it's running out. Minnesota residents have one last chance to obtain free COVID-19 tests for their household from the state's Department of Health before that opportunity is over.

The program offering free COVID-19 test kits started in April 2022.  According to details released by the State of Minnesota as well as multiple news sources, the Department of Health has provided "more than 2.5 million tests" to state residents since that time.

A link on the official state website shares that "[e]very home in Minnesota is eligible to order four rapid at-home COVID-19 tests for free, while supplies last". This final push is designed to get those tests into the hands of the people who need them most before funding runs out.

Additionally, the state points out that even if Minnesota residents miss out on the free tests offered by the Department of Health, they would still have access to the availability of no-cost-to-them testing; federal action has provided for at-home tests to be "covered by most insurance".

There are two ways that you can order those final four free COVID-19 tests. Just follow the link on the State of Minnesota's website; enter your zip code; and then complete the requested details to place the order. You can also call the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Public Hotline to place your order. That number is active Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and on Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 AM until 7:00 PM.

One other item of note: If you received free COVID-19 tests from the State of Minnesota in the past, the expiration dates printed on them has been extended in many cases. On July 8, 2022 the FDA extended out the shelf-life of iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Tests to 12 months instead of the dates originally printed on the packaging. The Minnesota Department of Health has provided a link that allows you to check those expiration dates by looking up the Lot Numbers on the COVID-19 tests already in your possession.

What Do I Do If I Lose My COVID-19 Vaccination Card?

When you get your COVID-19 vaccine, you're handed a card that details the date, manufacturer variety, and location of your dose. If you're getting one of the two-dose vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna), you'll need that card to coordinate your second and final dose. But even with the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and even after getting the second shot, you'll need to keep that card in a safe place.

While nationwide vaccine mandates aren't a thing at the present time, there are a variety of times you might need that card even after completing the vaccine process. Many schools (primary, secondary, and higher education) are requiring the COVID-19 vaccine similar to other vaccinations. Additionally, some entertainment venues and mass transportation are requiring either proof of a negative COVID test or the vaccine card.

So what happens if you lose it? Relax. There are ways of obtaining a replacement - and they differ slightly whether you've lost it before getting both doses or after.

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