WASHINGTON – The Biden administration on Friday launched a new website for Americans to request up to four free COVID-19 tests per week. household.
The administration is buying 1 billion fast COVID-19 tests at home, and Americans will be able to start ordering the tests online on January 19 at COVIDtests.gov.
This is part of the administration’s efforts to stem the rise of the omicron coronavirus variant that has overwhelmed hospitals and schools.
Tests must be sent through the U.S. Postal Service between seven and 12 days after they are ordered, senior administration officials said during a call with reporters.
“Testing is a critical tool to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said a senior administration official.
The White House said tests should be used by people who begin to have COVID-19 symptoms; after five days of coming into close contact with a person with COVID-19; or if you gather indoors with a person who is at risk of a serious illness or is unvaccinated. Children 4 years of age and under are not eligible for vaccines.
The first 500 million tests are expected to cost $ 4 billion, a senior administration official said.
The Biden administration also announced that from Monday, private insurance providers will cover the cost of up to eight home COVID-19 tests per day. person pr. month.
On Thursday, Biden said that in addition to free testing, Americans would also get free, high-quality masks.
The administration also aims to ensure that members of some communities hardest hit by COVID-19 will have a hotline they can access if they do not have Internet access or have difficulty ordering tests online. The helpline number is not yet available.
Officials also urged Americans to seek out free test centers on their own. There are about 20,000 free test sites across the country.
On Friday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer urged Michiganders to access the eight free home covid-19 tests that the federal government will require private insurance companies to cover monthly from Jan. 15.
“We will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure that COVID-19 testing is more accessible and cheaper for every Michigander,” Whitmer said in a prepared statement.
The pressure to increase access to COVID-19 testing comes after months of rising cases and hospitalizations in Michigan.
Originally published January 14, 2022 on Michigan Advance. It is shared here with permission.
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