The government website for requesting COVID-19 rapid tests “should be online by this weekend,” Dr. Tom Inglesby, the lead on the White House’s new testing initiative, told PBS News Hour on Wednesday. Inglesby said tests will start to arrive this month.
The close timeline comes weeks after President Joe Biden announced that Americans would soon be able to order 500 million free COVID tests directly from the government, through an online portal.
“We’ll have websites where you can get them delivered to your home,” Biden said in a speech on December 21st as the Omicron variant surged across the country. In prior remarks from White House press secretary Jen Psaki, the website would go live “as soon as these tests are available.”
But all of this being said, there’s been no clear date or timeline as to when the website will begin allowing users to place their orders. On the other hand, the Biden administration is also planning to provide 50 million free, at-home tests to community health centers and rural clinics across the country and to establish over 20,000 free community-based testing sites.
Meanwhile, under a new policy announced this week, details of which were shared by the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday, Americans will either have to purchase tests through their insurance or submit receipts for reimbursement. A family of four would be eligible for up to eight tests per person, per month.