The Biden administration will begin shipping home testing kits from its new website on Jan. 19, but officials warn that delivery could take 7 to 12 days — which is longer than the time experts say that people can spread COVID-19
- Americans can visit covidtests.gov to order their free tests
- Maximum 4 per household
- But it will take 7-12 days to ship them, the administration says
- Early contracts were for bearing companies, not manufacturers
- Feds say they have contracts for 420 million tests
- Biden first asked for 500 million, now the government says it will provide another 500 million
The Biden government says it will begin shipping home Covid tests from a new government website on Wednesday — but with a delivery window that could last longer than a typical Covid case.
The administration has contracted more than 420 million home testing kits, a senior administration official told reporters at a press briefing on Friday. The tests are free to the American public, with each household being able to order up to four of them.
But with current waiting times, it will take between 7 and 12 days for shipping within the continent, the official said. The US Postal Service offers world-class package delivery.
“We expect that window of opportunity to narrow as we move forward in this program,” the official said.
Alaska, Hawaii and the US Territories may have to wait longer for “Priority Mail” delivery.
These wait times may prove longer than some Americans are used to. A quick online search on Friday revealed that Amazon.com could deliver a lawnmower by Monday, a bank holiday. Even requested at-home Covid tests could be delivered by Wednesday, the day the program goes live.
President Joe Biden said this week the government will ship 500 million Covid tests in addition to the 500 million already ordered for distribution
Americans can visit covidtests.gov to order their free tests.
The website was live on Friday, but ordering begins on January 19th. There is no queue for pre-orders.
Officials have said they don’t expect any problems with the web launch. The Obama administration had a months-long headache launching its complicated Healthcare.gov website.
“We take our website launch very seriously. We didn’t start from scratch,” the official said.
One problem arising from the nationwide lack of testing is that people who fear they have Covid or who have had a close contact who tested positive may want testing information to help make decisions about their activities .
The tests come as the US hit peak levels of infections and hospitalizations amid the Omicron variant. Some experts believe the waiver could soon peak, which could mean many of the tests after it’s passed will expire.