WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Biden Administration announced that it is buying 1 billion COVID-19 rapid tests to give to Americans for free. The online ordering begins on Wednesday, Jan. 19, but is limited to four rapid tests per household.
Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 19, Americans will be able to order tests online at COVIDTests.gov, and tests will typically ship within 7-12 days of ordering, according to a press release from the White House.
Public health experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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.
The tests will be mailed directly to American households.
There will be free tests available for every household, and to promote broad access, the initial program will allow 4 free tests to be requested per residential address.
To ensure equity and access for all Americans, there will also be a call line to help those unable to access the website to place orders, and will work with national and local community-based organizations to support the nation’s hardest-hit and highest-risk communities in requesting tests.
In addition, the administration provided schools $10 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to get tests to K-12 school districts. And, the administration invested nearly $6 billion in ARP funding to cover free testing for uninsured individuals, and support testing in correctional facilities, shelters for people experiencing homelessness, and mental health facilities, according to a release from the White House.
Just this week, the administration also announced that starting Monday, Jan. 15, private health insurance companies will be required to cover at-home COVID-19 tests for free—and made an additional 10 million COVID-19 tests available to schools nationwide, each month.
The tests, available online starting Wednesday, Jan. 19, can be ordered here.