Americans are now eligible to order a third round of free at-home COVID-19 test kits from the federal government as the number of new infections and hospitalizations mounts.
In January, the website covidtests.gov was launched, permitting Americans to order up to four more free testing kits per household, though supplies were initially limited.
Then in March, the second round of free tests was provided for Americans.
On Tuesday, May 17, the White House announced that they are opening up for a third round of orders, with US households permitted to order an additional eight free at-home tests, bringing the total up to 16 per family since they were first made available.
Households that missed out on the initial two rounds of free tests are permitted to order up to 16 in the third round.
According to the White House, to date, approximately 350 million free at-home tests have been administered to Americans, with most delivered within 48 hours of orders being placed.
Orders are now being accepted on COVIDTests.gov.
The third round of tests available were purchased by the federal government earlier this year with funding from the American Rescue Plan.
The federal government is expected to distribute upwards of a billion home kits by the end of the program.
"Due to Congress’s failure to provide additional funding for the nation’s COVID-19 response, the Administration cannot continue making the types of federal investments needed to sustain domestic testing manufacturing capacity, and this may jeopardize the federal government’s ability to provide free tests moving forward," the White House announced in a statement.
"Today’s announcement underscores the Administration’s commitment to doing everything in our power to ensure the American people have the lifesaving tools they need—so they are prepared for whatever comes. Congress must step up and act as well."
All of the tests supplied will be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are capable of detecting the more-transmissible, dominant COVID-19 omicron variant of the virus.
According to the official website, “a positive at-home test result means that the test found the virus, and you very likely have COVID-19.
"Testing is an important tool to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” the White House announced.
"Public health experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that Americans use at-home tests if they begin to have symptoms, at least five days after coming in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or is gathering indoors with a group of people who are at risk of severe disease or unvaccinated.”
Free at-home tests can be ordered here.
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