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Here's how to get a free at-home COVID test in Missouri

Be prepared to wake up early. High demand will likely make it challenging to secure one of 500 daily kits offered by the state.

ST. LOUIS — The high demand for COVID-19 testing has people lining up hours before clinics open and going from pharmacy to pharmacy trying to find at-home tests. 

Missouri's Department of Health and Human Services is offering free at-home testing kits, but the demand far outweighs supply.

DHSS paused the orders for about a week, citing a spike in demand and a shipping backlog. The program resumed Wednesday, Jan. 12, but the 500 daily tests were gone before most people get out of bed. When 5 On Your Side checked the DHSS website and clicked on the link to order a test at about 6 a.m., a "Limit Reached" messaged appeared. DHSS advises people to check the site daily. 

Click here to check for availability.

If you're fortunate enough to get one of the 500 daily PCR tests, DHSS said it takes about two days for the kit to be shipped to your home. The testing kit is good for six months, but once you administer the test you must return the sample to a FedEx collection site within 24 hours. There's no cost to ship the sample, you're provided a prepaid FedEx envelope.

If you're needing a test, 5 On Your Side has compiled a list of testing sites in the St. Louis area.

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