Federal COVID testing web site launches subsequent week, four exams per residence
The federal web site the place Individuals can request free COVID-19 exams will start accepting orders on Wednesday because the White Home appears to handle nationwide shortages, however provides might be restricted to only 4 free exams per residence.
Beginning on Jan. 19, the web site COVIDTests.gov will present exams for free of charge, together with no delivery price, the White Home introduced Friday.
As he confronted criticism for low stock and lengthy traces for testing, President Joe Biden introduced final month that the U.S. would buy 500 million at-home exams to launch this system and on Thursday the president introduced that he was doubling the order to 1 billion exams.
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However Individuals should not count on a fast turn-around on the orders they usually must plan forward and request the exams properly earlier than they meet federal tips for when to make use of a take a look at.
The White Home stated “exams will usually ship inside 7-12 days of ordering” by the U.S. Postal Service, which reviews delivery occasions of 1-Three days for its first-class bundle service within the continental United States.
The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention recommends at-home testing when experiencing COVID-19 methods together with fever, cough, sore throat, respiratory signs and muscle aches, 5 days after a possible COVID-19 publicity, or as a part of test-to-stay protocols in faculties and workplaces.
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“Definitely for those who’re going to assemble with household, for those who’re going to a gathering the place individuals are immunocompromised or the place they’re aged or the place you might have individuals who is likely to be unvaccinated or poorly protected against a vaccine that is likely to be a possibility you wish to take a look at,” stated Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, on Wednesday.
Officers emphasised that the federal web site is only one method for folks to acquire COVID-19 exams. Beginning on Saturday, personal insurance coverage firms might be required to cowl the price of at-home fast exams, permitting Individuals to be reimbursed for exams they buy at pharmacies and on-line retailers. That covers as much as eight exams per 30 days.
The White Home stated the four-test restrict on web site orders might be utilized to every residential deal with and can apply to the primary tranche of 500 million exams. It estimates that the price of buying and distributing the primary block of exams at $four billion.
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Officers stated they’re cognizant that any launch of a web site carries some dangers — and reminiscences of the disastrous roll-out through the Obama administration of Healthcare.gov are nonetheless contemporary — however stated they consider they’re well-positioned to deal with anticipated demand for exams.
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