January 18, 2022 – Americans can now have free COVID-19 rapid tests delivered directly to their homes.
A new free testing program at the Biden administration’s home was launched today, one day forward schedule.
The administration said 500 million tests are available for home delivery across the country. That makes up half of the president’s recent ones pledge to purchase 1 billion free tests on COVID-19 at home for distribution to the U.S. public.
On January 14th call with reporters, senior White House officials offered some details about the new program.
Here’s what we know so far.
How can I order my free tests?
Americans can visit COVIDtests.gov order your own fast tests at home. You can also order directly from the U.S. Postal Service Web page. After you place your order, you will receive a confirmation email promising to send tracking information once your order has been shipped.
What information do I need to order tests?
All you need is your name and home address.
There is also the option to specify your email address to receive updates on the status of your order.
What if someone needs help ordering tests?
There will be a free call for people who need extra help, including those with internet access problems, according to White House officials.
What tests will be available?
There are nine tests at home available through FDA approval for emergency use. According to Frequently Asked Questions section on COVIDtests.gov, “You will not be able to choose brand order as part of this program. ”
How long will it take me to get the tests after I order them?
The tests are expected to be delivered 7 to 12 days after you order them.
But White House officials say the timeframe is likely to be shortened as the program takes effect.
How many can I order?
There is a limit of four tests per home address.
For larger families, White House officials suggest trying other free testing options, such as visiting COVID-19 testing websites or your local health center.
Is this a one-off opportunity?
The White House does not say, but officials have mentioned that if you run out of four free tests, there are many other ways to access free tests at home, such as COVID-19 testing sites, pharmacies and community health centers.
Free tests available via COVIDtests.gov are in addition to an estimated 375 million rapid tests at home in the U.S. market this month.
When should people use a quick test at home?
The CDC and experts from other public health groups agree that Americans should consider using rapid tests at home in the following situations:
- If they start to have symptoms in accordance with COVID-19
- At least 5 days after close contact with a person who has COVID
- If someone is indoors with a group of people who are at risk of serious illness or have not been vaccinated
Are quick tests at home accurate?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other federal officials have confirmed through studies that all tests distributed through this program can detect Omicron variant. These agencies have also confirmed that their performance is in line with FDA approval for emergency use.
Is the website designed to meet high demand?
After the original website for applying for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act fell several times at launch, the government says it has prepared for the high demand for ordering quick tests at home.
The American Digital Service (USDS), an organization founded after Healthcare.gov, has teamed up with the Postal Service to plan the launch.
The post office has increased the number of employees, similar to what is done during the holidays.
All orders in the continental United States will be shipped by first-class mail, with shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. territory, and military and foreign addresses sent by priority mail.