The federal website the place Americans can request free COVID-19 tests will start accepting orders on Wednesday because the White House seems to be to handle nationwide shortages, however provides will probably be restricted to only 4 free tests per home.
Starting on Jan. 19, the website COVIDTests.gov will present tests for free of charge, together with no transport payment, the White House introduced Friday.
As he confronted criticism for low stock and lengthy strains for testing, President Joe Biden introduced final month that the U.S. would buy 500 million at-home tests to launch this system and on Thursday the president introduced that he was doubling the order to 1 billion tests.
But Americans shouldn’t count on a fast turn-around on the orders and so they must plan forward and request the tests properly earlier than they meet federal tips for when to make use of a take a look at.
The White House stated “tests will typically ship within 7-12 days of ordering” by means of the U.S. Postal Service, which experiences transport occasions of 1-3 days for its first-class package deal service within the continental United States.
The Centers for Disease Control 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.
“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 might be unvaccinated or poorly protected from a vaccine that might be an opportunity you want to test,” stated Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, on Wednesday.
Officials emphasised that the federal website is only one manner for folks to obtain COVID-19 tests. Starting on Saturday, non-public insurance coverage firms will probably be required to cowl the price of at-home fast tests, permitting Americans to be reimbursed for tests they buy at pharmacies and on-line retailers. That covers as much as eight tests per month.
The White House stated the four-test restrict on website orders will probably be utilized to every residential tackle and can apply to the primary tranche of 500 million tests. It estimates that the price of buying and distributing the primary block of tests at $4 billion.
Officials stated they’re cognizant that any launch of a website carries some dangers – and reminiscences of the disastrous roll-out through the Obama administration of Healthcare.gov are nonetheless contemporary – however stated they imagine they’re well-positioned to deal with anticipated demand for tests.
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