(Washington DC) – The federal website where Americans can claim free COVID-19 tests will begin taking orders Wednesday as the White House seeks to address a nationwide shortage, but sources Offer will be limited to only four free tests per family.
Starting January 19, the COVIDTests.gov website will offer free tests, including shipping, the White House announced Friday.
In the face of criticism for low inventories and long lines for testing, President Joe Biden announced last month that the United States would buy 500 million home tests to kick off the program, and on Thursday, a total of President announced that he is doubling orders to 1 billion tests. .
But Americans shouldn’t expect a quick turnaround in orders, and they’ll have to plan ahead and order tests before they meet federal guidelines for when to use the test. check.
The White House says “tests will typically ship within 7-12 days of order” via US Postal Service, reporting 1-3 days shipping for package service. number one in the continental United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends home testing for systemic COVID-19 including fever, cough, sore throat, respiratory symptoms, and muscle aches, five days after exposure to COVID. -19 potential, or as part of testing to-residency protocols in schools and workplaces.
“Certainly if you’re going to gather with family, if you’re going to a gathering where people are immunocompromised or where they’re elderly or where you have people who may be unvaccinated or poorly protected. That vaccine could be an opportunity you want to check out,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, on Wednesday.
Officials stress that the federal website is just a way for people to buy COVID-19 tests. Starting Saturday, private insurers will be required to cover the cost of rapid at-home testing, allowing Americans to be reimbursed for tests they buy at pharmacies and online retailers. line. That includes up to eight tests per month.
The White House said the limit of four checks on orders on the site would apply to each residential address and would apply to the first of 500 million inspections. It estimated that the cost of buying and distributing the first test block was $4 billion.
Officials say they’re aware that any launch of a website carries some risk — and Healthcare.gov’s memories of a catastrophic birth during the Obama administration are still fresh. batch — but said they believe they have the location to handle the expected testing demand. .