On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced that starting on Jan. 19, all Americans will be able to request free home delivery of COVID-19 rapid tests amid the increase in the number of infections from the Omicron variant in the country.
Requests can be made through the COVIDTests.gov
website, which includes a link for all citizens to request up to four tests per household to be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.
"All U.S. households can request COVID-19 home tests. The tests are completely free of charge. Orders will generally ship in seven to 12 days. Order your tests now so you have them when you need them," the page reported.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the website was in "beta testing" and operating at "limited capacity" before its official launch, scheduled for the morning of Jan. 19.
The bid is a new project by President Joe Biden against criticism over a shortage of testing and long lines at medical centers.
The White House added that the four-test limit on the website orders will apply to each residential address and to the first tranche of 500 million tests. It estimated the cost of purchasing and distributing the first block of tests at $4 billion.
What should one know when taking a test?
There are currently a number of different tests on the market, so it is important to be clear on a few points when taking one them to determine whether or not you are infected with COVID-19.
- Home tests can tell if you are currently infected with coronavirus.
- A negative result does not mean you can't get it later.
- Limit other activities and try to isolate yourself while waiting for the result, or if you have symptoms.
- If you think you have been exposed to an infected person, or have traveled and are concerned that you have contracted the virus, the best time to start testing is the second and third day after contact.
- If the first test is negative after you have had a known or high-risk exposure, you should test again two to three days later, taking precautions during that period.
- Maintain a full vaccination schedule according to government guidelines.