Maine Residents Now Eligible to Order Additional Free COVID-19 Tests Through Project ACT
August 3, 2022
AUGUSTA— The Mills Administration announced today that Maine people may now reorder free COVID-19 test kits through Project Access COVID Tests (ACT), a partnership between the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and The Rockefeller Foundation that mails at-home tests directly to households throughout the state.
As of Monday, August 1, households in Maine that have already ordered two test kits through Project ACT are eligible to reorder one additional free kit of five rapid tests. The program has remained open for households to receive COVID-19 test kits since its launch in January 2022.
“Our successful partnership with Project ACT improves access to free, convenient tests for Maine families, helping to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep Maine communities safe and healthy,”said Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Nirav D. Shah. “As families prepare for back to school this fall, it is a great time to once again visit AccessCOVIDTests.org and have tests on hand in case children get sick or come into contact with someone with COVID-19.”
Maine was one of six states that participated in the pilot phase of Project ACT to increase access to testing in vulnerable communities. In February 2022, DHHS made the free tests available to all Maine households, regardless of zip code. Maine went on to become the first of the six pilot states to extend the pilot by ordering additional tests. As of August 1, 2022, Maine households have ordered 334,785 tests through Project ACT. Due to the success of Project ACT in Maine and other states, The Rockefeller Foundation recently announced that the program has been extended nationwide.
Any Maine resident can visit the Project ACT website, AccessCovidTests.org, to place their order. No payment information is required — both the tests and shipping are free to residents – and the tests will be delivered through Amazon approximately one week after ordering. The tests require a quick swab inside each nostril, with results available within minutes. Any individual over the age of two can use the tests. As of July 8, 2022, the shelf-life of these rapid antigen tests has been extended from 6 to 12 months.
Maine residents can also order free tests through the national initiative at COVIDtests.gov. More information about accessing free, rapid, at-home tests can be found on the COVID-19 Testing in Maine website.
In this phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, DHHS is focused on ensuring access to convenient at-home home tests. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Maine DHHS distributed 1,044,466 at-home tests to schools in Maine in April and early May 2022. Additionally, DHHS has distributed nearly 120,000 Federally funded tests to child care facilities across the state to help limit the spread of COVID-19 while minimizing job disruptions for parents and employers.
Maine’s expansion of home testing capacity also complements PCR and rapid tests provided at pharmacies and other sites. DHHS is continuing its partnership with Walgreens which administers BinaxNOW rapid tests at no cost to consumers.
Given this wide availability of testing and low demand at the 12 Swab and Send testing sites that remain in operation, DHHS will end its contracts with providers for Swab and Send testing effective Sept. 30, 2022. PCR testing will remain available at Walgreens locations and other commercial pharmacies. Consumers may be charged a fee.
More information about accessing COVID-19 testing can be found on the COVID-19 Testing in Maine website.