Good Things Come in Threes — and are Free!

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Dear Students,

There’s a saying that good things come in threes. It’s even better when the three things are free!

This week’s OC CARES message encourages you to take advantage of the “THREE FREES.” These three free resources play a vital role in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

  1. FREE COVID-19 At-Home Test Kit
  2. FREE N95 Masks Available at Meijer, Kroger, Pharmacies and Other Retail Stores
  3. FREE COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster Clinics

FREE COVID-19 At-Home Test Kit

Every home in the U.S. is now eligible to order four FREE FDA-authorized at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests. The tests will be shipped by the U.S Postal Service generally within 7-12 days after you place your order. The goal is by having home tests available at any time, we can all help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. By testing early and within the confines of our home, we will lessen the spread of the virus.

Click here to order your free COVID-19 tests

Click here to learn more about the Free COVID-19 test program.


  1. We encourage you and your family to order your test kit now so you have them when the need arises.
  2. Have the tests shipped to your permanent residence to ensure you receive them.
  3. At this time, to promote broad access to all who desire the free tests, the initial program is allowing four free individual tests per residential address. If additional tests are needed and you have health insurance, your insurance will also cover the cost of over-the-counter, at-home tests you purchase at a store (up to 8 at-home tests per month for each person on the insurance plan). Free testing on campus is also available to students by appointment when required.

Things to Know About the Tests

  • These are rapid antigen at-home tests, not PCR.
  • The test can be taken anywhere.
  • Test results are given within 30 minutes in your home (no lab drop-off required).
  • The test works whether or not you have COVID-⁠19 symptoms.
  • The test works whether or not you are up to date on your COVID-⁠19 vaccines.
  • These tests are also known as self-tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests.
  • Brand preference is not an option when you order as part of this program.

FREE N95 Masks Available at Meijer, Kroger, Pharmacies and Other Retail Stores

Earlier this week, Meijer and Kroger grocery stores were among the first retailers to begin handing out three free N95 masks as part of the federal government’s program to distribute 400 million of the masks.

N95 masks reduce the wearer’s exposure to particles, filtering out 95% of airborne particles including small particle aerosols and large droplets. In addition, when properly fitted, N95 masks allow minimal leakage around the edges.

Where to get your free N95 masks:


  1. The masks are located in the front of the stores. The N95 masks will be in boxes set on a table near the Meijer Greeter stand of the grocery entrance.
  2. Simply walk up to the table to receive up to three free masks per person.
  3. The store greeter, who will be wearing gloves, will place the N95 masks in piles of three for the customers to take.


  1. Look for a branded display with the N95 masks.
  2. If you don’t see a display, ask a store associate for help finding the complimentary masks.

Pharmacies and other retailers will soon be distributing N95 masks, too. Check store websites for updates on availability.

FREE COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster Clinics
  • When: Feb. 11 and March 3
  • Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • No appointment necessary
  • Where: Upton Gym
  • Who: Any student, faculty or staff member

Pfizer and Moderna Shots Will Be Offered

  1. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations are administered in two parts and require that you return on March 3 for a follow-up shot.
  2. Click here to learn about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations.

It is also important that you stay up to date on your protection against the virus by getting a booster shot when eligible.

  • Pfizer: At least 5 months after your second shot.
  • Moderna: At least 5 months after your second shot.
  • Johnson & Johnson: At least 2 months after your shot. Good news: You are eligible to receive the Pfizer or Moderna booster shot.
  • If you are receiving a booster shot, be sure to bring your COVID-19 vaccination card.

“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” — Henry James, author




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