By Kevin Deutsch
A half-billion rapid COVID-19 tests will be available for order Wednesday and will be mailed directly to American households as part of a new testing plan by the Biden administration, federal officials said.
The administration’s planned rollout comes amid its purchasing of one billion at-home COVID tests to give to Americans for free, the White House said.
According to the government, there will be free tests available for every household. To promote broad access, the initial program will allow four free tests to be requested per residential address, officials said.
Starting Wednesday, Americans will be able to order their tests online at COVIDTests.gov, and tests will typically ship within 7 to 12 days of ordering, officials said.
The website was in beta testing Tuesday and some Americans were able to order tests a day before the program’s official launch.
The tests available for order:
- Are rapid antigen at-home tests, not PCR
- It can be taken anywhere
- Give results within 30 minutes (no lab drop-off required)
- Work whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms
- Work whether or not you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines
- They are also referred to as self-tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests
“To ensure equity and access for all Americans, the Administration will also launch a call line to help those unable to access the website to place orders, and work with national and local community-based organizations to support the nation’s hardest-hit and highest-risk communities in requesting tests,” the White House said in a press release announcing the program.
As of January 15, private health insurance companies are required to cover at-home COVID-19 tests for free, according to the White House.
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