If you haven’t been able to get your hands on a COVID test kit, not to worry. They’ll be available for free online soon. To order the tests, you’ll have to visit the COVID test kit site. So far, there isn’t a specific time that the website will be up and running. For those that don’t have access to the internet regularly, officials are working on setting up a free phone line.
Starting on January 19th, every household in the US can order up to four free COVID test kits. 500 million tests will be available to order online. This test availability is thanks to the Biden Administration’s latest efforts to stomp out the omicron variant of the coronavirus. Ordering the tests is easy. You’ll only need to provide your name and your mailing address. The tests are completely free, including shipping. If you want to track shipping, you’ll have to provide your email address as well. You can order the tests here.
According to TODAY, this plan was announced at the end of 2021. They announced that they’d be buying 500 million COVID test kits for US citizens to have for free. The estimated cost of the purchase is $4 billion. Over 420 million of the test kits are already under contract, according to a press call hosted by a senior administration official and reporters. Officials are working hard to finish up the batch, with around 80 million tests still left to contract.
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However, the administration official went on to say that the Biden Administration doesn’t plan on stopping at just 500 million tests. “The President committed to another 500 million just yesterday for a billion,” they said during the call. “And we’re not saying we’re stopping there. And we’re going to keep — keep moving forward to expand testing so that Americans have it both now and moving into the future.”
Of course, at-home COVID test kits have been very hard to get ahold of. This is due to how contagious COVID is and the increased need for at-home tests.
“We’re seeing unprecedented demand,” John Koval said. Koval is the director of public affairs for rapid diagnostics at Abbott, the company that makes the BinaxNow COVID test. “And we’re sending them out as fast as we can make them. Despite public health guidance over the summer that caused the market for rapid testing to plummet, we never stopped making tests.”
Above all, officials are making an effort to make the tests more available to high-risk communities. “This includes working with national and local organizations with deep experience serving communities of color, people with disabilities, and other high-risk communities to serve as navigators who will raise awareness about this program and help people submit their requests for tests,” one official said.