The USPS will begin delivering the rapid COVID tests later this month
Even though the official launch of the website is slated for Wednesday, the U.S. Government has started taking orders for free at-home COVID-19 rapid tests today. Without further ado, here’s the link to order.
Each household is allowed four tests — you just have to provide your name, mailing address, and email (if you want shipping notifications).
This is part of President Biden’s plan to fight back against the ongoing pandemic. He’s bought 1 billion COVID tests and plans on distributing them to Americans in order to tamp down spread — and now the first 50 million of these tests are available to order by residents.
“This month, the number of at-home, rapid tests available to the U.S. market will rise to 375 million — in addition to the free tests available through COVIDTests.gov,” the White House said.
The White House told Spectrum News that the website went live a day early as a soft launch in order to address any troubleshooting ahead of Wednesday.
The tests should ship within 7 to 12 days of ordering. You can send tests to any residential address in any state or territory, including military addresses and diplomatic addresses overseas. The tests provide results within 30 minutes and are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The release of the free tests coincides with the ongoing wave of the omicron variant, which has led to a record-high number of cases in many places across the globe, although it seems to result in fewer hospitalizations and deaths.
While testing may help stop the spread, early data is showing that at-home rapid antigen tests are not catching omicron as early as they were detecting other strains — and that positive results may lag two days behind more sensitive tests. This is especially important to note for those who are testing while asymptomatic.
Still, the CDC recommend that anyone who comes within close contact with someone with COVID take a test five days after exposure even if you’re vaccinated. Testing before joining a large group from outside your household or before travel can also help stop spread.
A call line will also be available for ordering tests, though a number has not yet been released.