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

The Biden administration’s new no-cost, at-home testing program launched as we speak, a day ahead of schedule.

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

People can go to COVIDtests.gov to order their rapid at-home checks. It’s also possible to order instantly from the U.S. Postal Service website. After you order, you’ll obtain a affirmation e mail that guarantees to ship monitoring data as soon as your order ships.

What data do I must order the checks?

You solely want your title and residential mailing deal with.

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

What if somebody wants assist ordering the checks?

There can be a free call-in line for individuals needing extra assist, together with these having hassle accessing the web, based on White Home officers.

What checks can be obtainable?

There are 9 at-home checks obtainable by way of FDA emergency use authorization. In keeping with 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 checks as soon as I organize them?

Exams are anticipated to ship 7 to 12 days after you organize them.

However White Home officers say that the timeframe will doubtless shorten as this system positive aspects steam.

What number of can I order?

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

For bigger households, White Home officers recommend attempting different free testing choices, like visiting COVID-19 testing websites or your native well being middle.

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 checks, there are numerous different methods to entry free at-home checks, equivalent to COVID-19 testing websites, pharmacies, and neighborhood well being facilities.

The free checks obtainable by way of COVIDtests.gov are along with an estimated 375 million at-home fast checks in the marketplace within the U.S. this month.

When ought to individuals use a fast at-home check?

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

  • If they start to have symptoms per COVID-19
  • At the very least 5 days after shut contact with somebody who has COVID
  • If somebody is indoors with a gaggle of people who find themselves susceptible to extreme illness or are unvaccinated

Are at-home fast checks correct?

The U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers and different federal officers confirmed by way of research that each one checks distributed by way of this program can detect the Omicron variant. These businesses additionally confirmed that their efficiency is per 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 insurance beneath the Reasonably priced Care Act crashed repeatedly at launch, the federal government says it has ready for top demand for ordering at-home fast checks.

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, much like what’s performed through the holidays.

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