Health + Wellness

White House Launches Website for Free Home COVID Tests


COVID

It was slated to debut on Wednesday, but the federal government quietly launched its website for Americans to order free at-home COVID tests one day early.

Go to COVIDTests.gov and you can quickly order four tests delivered to your home by the U.S. Postal Service. Only four tests will be given to a single residential address, and there’s a note on the website that the earliest the tests will be sent out is late January. “Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days,” the website says.

You can also place your order for your free COVID tests directly through the U.S. Postal Service here.

RELATED: Beware of Fake COVID Testing Sites

According to the Associated Press, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the early launch is due to “beta testing” and is as yet working at “limited capacity” ahead of the website’s official Wednesday debut. She added that “a bug or two” might occur, but a team of IT experts is working to ensure the launch goes smoothly.

“In alignment with website launch best practices, COVIDtests.gov is currently in its beta phase, which means that the website is operating at limited capacity ahead of its official launch,” a White House official told CNN. “This is standard practice to address troubleshooting and ensure as smooth of an official launch tomorrow as possible. We expect the website to officially launch mid-morning tomorrow.”

The new online distribution locus is one effort by President Joe Biden to address widespread shortages of test kits and long lines at testing sites, as the fast-spreading Omicron variant pushes COVID-19 numbers ever higher.

The Omicron variant caused 99.5% of new coronavirus cases in the US last week, according to estimates posted Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Biden initially said he was ordering 500 million tests for free distribution but then doubled that number to 1 billion last week.

In addition to the website, the federal government is setting up a hotline to request the tests. However, it’s not

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