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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

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Where to Get a FREE COVID Test in Tampa Bay for Your Family

The spread of COVID-19 hasn’t ceased as new variants circulate throughout the world and here at home. And, we all know by now, yes, you can get COVID twice and even more than that.

The Covid-19 vaccine is still the best form of protection for you and your children who are eligible to receive the vaccine, according to pediatricians we spoke with here in Tampa Bay.

As we head into summer break, it’s not a bad idea to keep some at-home test kits on hand and have a plan on where to go to get further testing if needed.

Most of the public drive-thru sites run by the cities, county, and state are closed, but you can still get a FREE Covid test by mail, your local drugstore, and at a doctor’s office/health care clinic.

Where and how to get a FREE at-home COVID test

Beginning Saturday, January 15, your private insurance company must reimburse you for the purchase of up to 8 at-home COVID tests per insured, per month. You may still have to pay out of pocket at first and then file with your insurance company to get reimbursed, so make sure you keep the receipts.

Depending on your insurance set-up, your insurance company may also set up a network of pharmacies and stores where you can get the at-home test at no upfront cost. If they do have this set up and you end up buying one out of network, then they must reimburse you up to $12 for the test.

It’s a little confusing, we know, so it’s a good idea to check in with your insurance company to see what they have set up.

If you do not have private insurance or simply don’t want to worry about the hassle and don’t need the at-home COVID test right away, the Biden administration launched a federal program to allow families to request free at-home COVID tests earlier this year via COVIDtests.gov.

The third round of free at-home covid tests are now available for you to request. This round, which just started on Monday, May 16, 2022, allows you to request 8 at-home Covid tests. Keep in mind, it will take time to ship the tests to you. This is the best option to ensure you have the tests on hand in case you need them in the future.

Free COVID test locations in Hillsborough County:

Make sure to bring your photo ID and date of birth for all persons tested. If you have health insurance, bring your insurance card with you. Click here for the Covid-19 Resource page for Hillsborough County.


FREE Covid test Pinellas County :

There are multiple other locations throughout Pinellas County where you can get a COVID test, but you may have to pay a fee or co-pay to cover cost of clinic’s time. Click here to find a location near you. 

Other Free COVID Testing Locations in Pinellas County:


Pasco County Free Covid Testing Sites:

There are several more locations where you can get a COVID test in Pasco County. Click here on Pasco County’s site to learn more and find a location near you.

Other locations to get a free COVID test in Pasco County:


COVID-19 Symptoms from the Centers for Disease Control:

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19 and should consider taking a COVID test:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

When to seek emergency attention:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

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Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne is an award-winning former television news journalist who spent 15+ years in newsrooms across the state of Florida including Sarasota, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and right here in Tampa Bay where she still freelances on occasion. She covered the political beat, crime beat and every day breaking news during her time in Florida newsrooms, but is now focused on sharing positive news stories and events with families in Tampa Bay. She is a proud mommy of two little boys who keep her on her toes and laughing every day. Her goal is to inspire families just like yours to get out and play and experience all that Tampa Bay and our great state of Florida have to offer! She encourages you to share your stories and upcoming events so we can spread the good news.

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