Federal free Covid test website launches next week, 4 tests per home

2 weeks ago
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U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a gathering with members of the White House COVID-19 Response Team connected the latest developments related to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus successful the South Court Auditorium astatine the White House analyzable successful Washington, January 4, 2022.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

The national website wherever Americans tin petition escaped Covid-19 tests volition statesman accepting orders connected Wednesday arsenic the White House looks to code nationwide shortages, but supplies volition beryllium constricted to conscionable 4 escaped tests per home.

Starting connected Jan. 19, the website COVIDTests.gov volition supply tests astatine nary cost, including nary shipping fee, the White House announced Friday.

As helium faced disapproval for debased inventory and agelong lines for testing, President Joe Biden announced past period that the U.S. would acquisition 500 cardinal at-home tests to motorboat the programme and connected Thursday the president announced that helium was doubling the bid to 1 cardinal tests.

But Americans shouldn't expect a accelerated turnaround connected the orders and they volition person to program up and petition the tests good earlier they conscionable national guidelines for erstwhile to usage a test.

The White House said "tests volition typically vessel wrong 7-12 days of ordering" done the U.S. Postal Service, which reports shipping times of 1-3 days for its first-class bundle work successful the continental United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at-home investigating erstwhile experiencing Covid-19 systems including fever, cough, sore throat, respiratory symptoms and musculus aches, 5 days aft a imaginable Covid-19 exposure, oregon arsenic portion of test-to-stay protocols successful schools and workplaces.

"Certainly if you're going to stitchery with family, if you're going to a gathering wherever radical are immunocompromised oregon wherever they're aged oregon wherever you person radical who mightiness beryllium unvaccinated oregon poorly protected from a vaccine that mightiness beryllium an accidental you privation to test," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, connected Wednesday.

Officials emphasized that the national website is conscionable 1 mode for radical to procure Covid-19 tests. Starting connected Saturday, backstage security companies volition beryllium required to screen the outgo of at-home accelerated tests, allowing Americans to beryllium reimbursed for tests they acquisition astatine pharmacies and online retailers. That covers up to 8 tests per month.

The White House said the four-test bounds connected website orders volition beryllium applied to each residential code and volition use to the archetypal tranche of 500 cardinal tests. It estimates that the outgo of purchasing and distributing the archetypal artifact of tests astatine $4 billion.

Officials said they are cognizant that immoderate motorboat of a website carries immoderate risks — and memories of the disastrous roll-out during the Obama medication of Healthcare.gov are inactive caller — but said they judge they are well-positioned to grip expected request for tests.