Biden’s administration reveals they will ship 500 million COVID tests at home from January 19 – but delivery will take up to 12 DAYS: White House finally reveals distribution after shortage chaos
- Americans can visit covidtests.gov to order their free tests
- Maximum 4 per household
- But it takes 7-12 days to ship them, the administration says
- Early contracts were for warehouse companies, not manufacturers
- Feds say they have contracts for 420 million tests
- Biden first asked for $500 million, now says government will provide $500 million more
The Biden administration says it will start sending home covid tests from a new government website on Wednesday — but with a delivery window that could take longer than a typical case of covid.
The administration has contracted more than 420 million home test kits, a senior government official told reporters at a news conference on Friday. The tests are free to the American public, with each household being able to order up to four.
But with current wait times, it takes between 7 and 12 days for shipments within the continent, the official said. The US Postal Service provides first-class parcel delivery.
“We expect that period to shorten as we progress through this program,” the official said.
Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories may have to wait longer for priority mail to be delivered.”
Those wait times may be longer than some Americans are used to. A quick online search on Friday revealed that Amazon.com could deliver a lawn mower by Monday, a public holiday. Even much-requested home covid tests were available for delivery on Wednesday, the day the program goes live.
President Joe Biden this week said the government would send 500 million covid tests on top of the 500 million already ordered for distribution
Americans can visit covidtests.gov to order their free tests.
The site was live on Friday, but ordering will begin on January 19. There is no queue for pre-ordering.
The kickoff date is the same day Biden plans to hold his first full-length press conference in more than 70 days.
Officials have said they don’t expect any problems with the web launch. The Obama administration had months of headaches over the launch of its complicated Healthcare.gov website.
‘We take the launch of our website very seriously. We didn’t start from scratch,” the official said.
People line up to receive 2 free COVID-19 Antigen Rapid test kits at home at the Gaithersburg Public Library in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, January 12, 2022. The Omicron variant of the coronavirus pandemic is the dominant strain in many countries as case numbers peak around the world
There has been a nationwide surge in demand for tests
The new website will start taking orders next week
One problem caused by the nationwide shortage of testing is that people who fear they have contracted Covid or had a close contact who tested positive may want testing information to help make decisions about their activities.
The tests come as the US has hit peaks in infections and hospitalizations amid the omicron variant. Some experts believe that the exemption can peak quickly, which could mean that many of the tests are done after they have expired.
A toll-free telephone line helps people who have ‘difficulties with the Internet’, according to the administration.
In addition, from January 15, the administration will require private insurance companies to cover COVID-19 testing at home.
According to a fact sheet from the administration, “In addition to this new program, there are many other options for Americans to get tested. There are now more than 20,000 free testing locations nationwide, including four times as many pharmacies participating in the federal free pharmacy testing program as in January 2021, as well as federal peak-free testing locations, with more free testing locations every week.”
Tests have also gone to community health centers and schools have been awarded a total of $10 billion for testing.