White House launches the website to request free COVID tests
The website includes a link for “every home” to order four tests that will be delivered by "late January." The White House says it will prioritize shipments to ZIP codes with high rates of cases and deaths,
The U.S. Postal Service has begun taking orders for free at-home coronavirus test kits for delivery "in Jate January."
The Biden administration on Tuesday quietly launched its website for Americans to request free at-home tests, a day before the site was scheduled to officially launch.
The website, COVIDTests.gov, now includes a link for “every home in the U.S.” to order four tests, to be delivered by the Postal Service.
It marks the latest step by President Joe Biden to address criticism of low inventory and long lines for testing during a nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant.
A White House official website is “currently in its beta phase” and operating at a “limited capacity ahead of its official launch” on Wednesday.
The White House says it will prioritize shipments to Americans from ZIP codes that have experienced high rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths, with the first 20% of each day's orders going to those areas.
There will also be a phone number so those without access to computers or high-speed internet can place orders.
Some 700,000 people were on the test kit website at one point Tuesday afternoon. (Click here to see how many users are on the site.)
Some on Twitter reported problems with orders from residents of apartment buildings with multiple units being told that someone from that household had already ordered the tests. According to the Associated Press:
There were isolated reports Tuesday afternoon of issues relating to the website's address verification tool erroneously enforcing the four-per-household cap on apartment buildings and other multi-unit dwellings, but it was not immediately clear how widespread the issue was.
Biden last week announced that the administration plans to buy 1 billion at-home tests for Americans and also said the White House will make high-quality masks available for free, with details coming out this week.
Information from the Assoicated Press was used in this report.
Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.