(Washington D.C.) — The federal web site the place Individuals can request free COVID-19 exams will start accepting orders on Wednesday because the White Home appears to be like to handle nationwide shortages, however provides can be restricted to only 4 free exams per house.
Beginning on Jan. 19, the web site COVIDTests.gov will present exams without charge, together with no delivery price, the White Home introduced Friday.
As he confronted criticism for low stock and lengthy traces for testing, President Joe Biden introduced final month that the U.S. would buy 500 million at-home exams to launch this system and on Thursday the president introduced that he was doubling the order to 1 billion exams.
However Individuals shouldn’t count on a speedy turn-around on the orders and so they must plan forward and request the exams nicely earlier than they meet federal tips for when to make use of a check.
The White Home mentioned “exams will sometimes ship inside 7-12 days of ordering” by the U.S. Postal Service, which reviews delivery occasions of 1-3 days for its first-class bundle service within the continental United States.
The Facilities for Illness Management 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.
“Definitely when you’re going to assemble with household, when you’re going to a gathering the place individuals are immunocompromised or the place they’re aged or the place you have got individuals who could be unvaccinated or poorly protected against a vaccine that could be a chance you wish to check,” mentioned Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, on Wednesday.
Officers emphasised that the federal web site is only one method for folks to obtain COVID-19 exams. Beginning on Saturday, personal insurance coverage corporations can be required to cowl the price of at-home speedy exams, permitting Individuals to be reimbursed for exams they buy at pharmacies and on-line retailers. That covers as much as eight exams monthly.
The White Home mentioned the four-test restrict on web site orders can be utilized to every residential tackle and can apply to the primary tranche of 500 million exams. It estimates that the price of buying and distributing the primary block of exams at $4 billion.
Officers mentioned they’re cognizant that any launch of a web site carries some dangers—and recollections of the disastrous roll-out throughout the Obama administration of Healthcare.gov are nonetheless contemporary—however mentioned they consider they’re well-positioned to deal with anticipated demand for exams.