UPDATE (Jan. 5, 2022): DHW's supply of free, at-home COVID-19 tests has all been distributed. Additional tests will not become available from the state. The Department of Health and Welfare does not manage the supply of tests available commercially, and the available inventory is not tracked on any public websites at this time. We recommend people contact pharmacies and check with online retailers to inquire about current inventory and go to the doctor for diagnostic testing if they’re feeling sick. Additionally, many Idaho urgent care centers are offering asymptomatic and travel-associated testing.
Anyone who experiences COVID-19 symptoms is encouraged to get tested, and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) is offering free at-home COVID-19 tests to Idaho residents. Tests can be requested by calling 2-1-1; no personal information is required other than a name and mailing address.
“Reliable and widely available testing is a critical part of our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, said Elke Shaw Tulloch, administrator of the Division of Public Health. “Combined with efforts to increase vaccinations, this important initiative can help to get us back to our usual way of living.”
DHW is working with VAULT Medical to provide COVID-19 PCR testing on saliva for individuals in Idaho. VAULT tests can be used whether or not a person has symptoms or a known exposure to someone with COVID-19.
The test involves collecting saliva and mailing it to a laboratory that analyzes the sample. Saliva collection can be done in the convenience of a person’s home with the assistance of a trained VAULT Medical observer via a virtual Zoom visit on a smart phone or tablet.
To use VAULT tests, individuals will create an account on their phone or tablet using their email account. They will then contact a remote observer via Zoom and collect the saliva specimen as the observer watches over Zoom. The saliva sample will then be mailed to VAULT in a self-addressed, pre-paid envelope via UPS. Results are available to the individual electronically in 24–72 hours. Test results are also reported to Idaho state or local public health departments by VAULT, per federal requirements for all COVID-19 testing.
VAULT does not provide medical care. Those experiencing severe symptoms should follow-up with their physician or go the nearest emergency department.
VAULT Medical is available to offer Zoom visits to observe saliva collection from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (MDT) Sunday through Thursday, and 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. (MDT) Friday and Saturday.
Call 2-1-1 by dialing either 2-1-1 or 1-800-926-2588 to get a FREE COVID-19 test.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.
Media contact: Niki Forbing-Orr
Public Information Manager