Federal at-home COVID-19 exam distribution will expire on Friday, but testing opportunities are still available in Boone County.

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President Joe Biden speaks about COVID-19 vaccinations at the White House, Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Due to a lack of funds from Congress, the Biden Administration will stop handing out the at-home, fast COVID-19 tests as of September 2.

Locally, a few locations in Columbia still provide free testing to Boone County residents. Community members can still make an appointment at testing facilities including MU Health, Walgreens, and Hy-Vee. Hy-Vee and Walgreens both provide free testing. Costs “vary based on testing location,” according to MU Health. MU Health bills patients’ insurance companies for the cost of testing, according its website. Insurance-free patients are not charged.

According to Sara Humm, senior planner for the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services, “I think we are lucky here in Boone County that we still have multiple locations doing the in-person tests, and people have that availability where they can still purchase at-home tests at grocery stores or pharmacies.”

The decision to halt this service was made to preserve the country’s finite supply of tests, a senior administration official in the Biden Administration told ABC News, “so that we can ensure we have a finite supply of tests available in the fall, when we might face a new rise in infections and more acute need.”

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