48°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy
app-logo
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Website launches for ordering free COVID-19 home tests

Updated January 18, 2022 - 11:52 am

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Tuesday quietly launched its website for Americans to request free at-home COVID-19 tests, a day before the site was scheduled to officially go online.

The website, COVIDTests.gov, now includes a link for Americans to order four at-home tests per residential address, to be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. It marks the latest step by President Joe Biden to address criticism of low inventory and long lines for testing during a nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the website was in “beta testing” and operating at a “limited capacity” ahead of its official launch. The website will officially launch mid-morning Wednesday, Psaki said.

She added that the administration was anticipating a “bug or two,” but had IT experts from across the government working to get the site ready.

Biden announced last month that the U.S. would purchase 500 million at-home tests to launch the program and on Thursday the president announced that he was doubling the order to 1 billion tests.

But Americans shouldn’t expect a rapid turnaround on the orders and they will have to plan and request the tests well before they meet federal guidelines for when to use a test.

The White House said “tests will typically ship within 7- 12 days of ordering” through USPS, which reports shipping times of 1-3 days for its first-class package service in the continental United States.

Officials emphasized that the federal website is just one way for people to procure COVID-19 tests, and shortages of at-home test kits have shown signs of easing as more supply has hit the market.

Since Saturday, private insurance companies have been required to cover the cost of at-home rapid tests, allowing Americans to be reimbursed for tests they purchase at pharmacies and online retailers. That covers up to eight tests per month.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
US adds a surprisingly strong 517K jobs despite Fed hikes

The number is a surprisingly strong gain in the face of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive drive to slow growth and tame inflation with higher interest rates.

California stands alone on Colorado River water usage plan

With the recent expiration of a federal deadline, California now finds itself sharply at odds with six other states over how to take less water from the shrinking Colorado River.

 
Fill Lake Mead with Mississippi River water? Don’t rule it out

Amid a major drought in the Western U.S., a proposed solution comes up repeatedly: large-scale river diversions, including pumping Mississippi River water to parched states.

Large snowpack boosts California, but dry trend raises worries

Water officials say the mountain snowpack that supplies a significant amount of California’s water got an incredible boost from recent powerful storms. But the weather has turned drier.