A COVID-19 instant test on January 8, 2022. This test results were negative. (Ray Saint Germain/Bay City News)

Contra Costa County residents can now receive four free at-home COVID-19 test kits through a mail-order program, the county’s health department announced Tuesday.

The test kits will ship to residents’ homes within 5-7 business days, according to Contra Costa Health Services.

County health officials are urging residents to test for the virus before attending large indoor gatherings, particularly as COVID transmission continues to increase countywide.

“We want these test kits to be a staple in people’s medicine cabinets like aspirin or band-aids,” said Dr. Sofe’ Mekuria, the county’s deputy health officer. “Testing gives people the information they need to make healthy choices and reduce the spread of COVID, especially during the winter holiday season when families and friends gather indoors.”

County residents can request the four tests from the county by visiting https://bit.ly/3EAnial or by calling (833) 829-2626. The mail-order program is expected to last at least through the winter holidays, according to CCHS.

COVID tests are also available for free at all county library branches and via healthcare providers.

Information about at-home COVID tests can be found at https://www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/home-tests.