Biden administration’s free Covid test website launches next week

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks throughout a gathering with members of the White Home COVID-19 Response Workforce on the newest developments associated to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus within the South Courtroom Auditorium on the White Home advanced in Washington, January 4, 2022.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

The federal web site the place Individuals can request free Covid-19 exams will start accepting orders on Wednesday because the White Home appears to be like to deal with nationwide shortages, however provides can be restricted to only 4 free exams per dwelling.

Beginning on Jan. 19, the web site COVIDTests.gov will present exams for free of charge, together with no delivery charge, the White Home introduced Friday.

As he confronted criticism for low stock and lengthy traces for testing, President Joe Biden introduced final month that the U.S. would buy 500 million at-home exams to launch this system and on Thursday the president introduced that he was doubling the order to 1 billion exams.

However Individuals should not count on a fast turnaround on the orders and so they should plan forward and request the exams effectively earlier than they meet federal pointers for when to make use of a check.

The White Home stated “exams will sometimes ship inside 7-12 days of ordering” by the U.S. Postal Service, which studies delivery occasions of 1-3 days for its first-class bundle service within the continental United States.

The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention recommends at-home testing when experiencing Covid-19 programs together with fever, cough, sore throat, respiratory signs and muscle aches, 5 days after a possible Covid-19 publicity, or as a part of test-to-stay protocols in colleges and workplaces.

“Actually if you are going to collect with household, if you are going to a gathering the place persons are immunocompromised or the place they’re aged or the place you could have individuals who is perhaps unvaccinated or poorly protected against a vaccine that is perhaps a chance you need to check,” stated Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, on Wednesday.

Officers emphasised that the federal web site is only one approach for folks to acquire Covid-19 exams. Beginning on Saturday, non-public insurance coverage corporations can be required to cowl the price of at-home fast exams, permitting Individuals to be reimbursed for exams they buy at pharmacies and on-line retailers. That covers as much as eight exams monthly.

The White Home stated the four-test restrict on web site orders can be utilized to every residential tackle and can apply to the primary tranche of 500 million exams. It estimates that the price of buying and distributing the primary block of exams at $4 billion.

Officers stated they’re cognizant that any launch of a web site carries some dangers — and recollections of the disastrous roll-out in the course of the Obama administration of Healthcare.gov are nonetheless recent — however stated they imagine they’re well-positioned to deal with anticipated demand for exams.

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