With the Omicron COVID-19 variant raging, Americans will soon have access to free at-home test kits that will be made available through a federal website.
Beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 19, the White House announced that it will be distributing one billion tests that it plans to buy this year that will be provided to Americans in need for free.
According to the White House, tests will take approximately seven to 12 days to ship, and can be requested at COVIDTests.gov beginning on Jan. 19.
Officials said that "tens of millions” of tests are already on hand, and a half billion will be available initially when the website goes live.
Americans will have the option of ordering up to four free tests per residential address at the beginning of the program, which is expected to expand as hundreds of millions of new tests are secured by the federal government.
The US has gone from having approximately 24 million at-home rapid tests in August 2021 to more than 375 million as of January 2022, the White House said. The free tests will be on top of the existing supply of tests, officials have said.
"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 are gathering indoors with a group of people who are at risk of severe disease or unvaccinated.”
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