Jan. 18, 2022 — People can now have free COVID-19 speedy exams delivered on to their houses.

The Biden administration’s new no-cost, at-home testing program launched right this moment, a day ahead of schedule.

The administration stated 500 million exams can be found to be delivered to houses throughout the nation. This accounts for half of the president’s current pledge to buy 1 billion free at-home COVID-19 exams to distribute to the American public.

On a Jan. 14 call with reporters, senior White Home officers provided some particulars in regards to the new program.

Right here’s what we all know thus far.

How do I order my free exams?

People can go to COVIDtests.gov to order their rapid at-home exams. You can too order instantly from the U.S. Postal Service website. After you order, you’ll obtain a affirmation electronic mail that guarantees to ship monitoring data as soon as your order ships.

What data do I have to order the exams?

You solely want your identify and residential mailing deal with.

There may be additionally an choice to offer your electronic mail deal with to get updates on the standing of your order.

What if somebody wants assist ordering the exams?

There will likely be a free call-in line for folks needing extra assist, together with these having hassle accessing the web, in response to White Home officers.

What exams will likely be out there?

There are 9 at-home exams out there by FDA emergency use authorization. In response to the Frequently Asked Questions section of COVIDtests.gov, You won’t be able to decide on the brand you order as a part of this program.”

How lengthy will it take to get the exams as soon as I get them organized?

Checks are anticipated to ship 7 to 12 days after you get them organized.

However White Home officers say that the timeframe will probably shorten as this system features steam.

What number of can I order?

There’s a restrict of 4 exams per residential mailing deal with.

For bigger households, White Home officers counsel making an attempt different free testing choices, like visiting COVID-19 testing websites or your native well being heart.

Is that this a one-time alternative?

The White Home doesn’t say, however officers did point out that when you run out of your 4 free exams, there are lots of different methods to entry free at-home exams, resembling COVID-19 testing websites, pharmacies, and group well being facilities.

The free exams out there by COVIDtests.gov are along with an estimated 375 million at-home speedy exams in the marketplace within the U.S. this month.

When ought to folks use a speedy at-home check?

The CDC and consultants with different public well being teams agree that People ought to think about using at-home speedy exams within the following conditions:

  • If they start to have symptoms according to COVID-19
  • A minimum of 5 days after shut contact with somebody who has COVID
  • If somebody is indoors with a gaggle of people who find themselves prone to extreme illness or are unvaccinated

Are at-home speedy exams correct?

The U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers and different federal officers confirmed by research that each one exams distributed by this program can detect the Omicron variant. These companies additionally confirmed that their efficiency is according to the FDA’s emergency use authorization.

Is the web site designed to deal with excessive demand?

After the unique web site to enroll in medical health insurance underneath the Reasonably priced Care Act crashed repeatedly at launch, the federal government says it has ready for top demand for ordering at-home speedy exams.

The U.S. Digital Service (USDS), a company based after Healthcare.gov, has partnered with the Postal Service to plan for the launch.

The Postal Service has expanded its staffing, just like what’s completed through the holidays.

All orders within the continental United States will likely be shipped by first-class mail, with shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. territories, and army and abroad addresses despatched by precedence mail.