WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Americans can now get free rapid COVID tests delivered to their homes, courtesy of a new government website.
The website CovidTests.gov went live on Tuesday, a day before its scheduled launch.
“So it will officially launch tomorrow morning. It’s in the beta testing phase right now,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki explained.
That means the website is now running with limited capacity and will be fully functional starting Wednesday morning.
“We can’t guarantee there won’t be a bug or two, but the best tech teams across the administration and the Postal Service are working hard to make this a success,” Psaki said.
All you have to do to order the tests is enter your name and address. The website automatically sends you four tests in your order. That’s the limit per address.
The Biden administration plans to distribute a billion tests this way.
“There was actually a lot that was being done to increase testing over the year,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said.
The White House is also defending the decision to not do this months ago.
“The market did not have the capacity at that moment to do what we’re doing tomorrow,” Psaki said.
Dr. Murthy points out they’re also increasing testing access in other ways, like requiring private insurers to pay for up to eight COVID tests per person per month.
“We want to keep increasing this, because omicron is generating a big demand,” Murthy said. “With each day that goes by, we should see more and more testing available.”
He’s optimistic their efforts will make a big difference.
“My hope is that even though the next few weeks will be tough, that we will see better days just a few weeks beyond that,” Murthy said.
They estimate it will take seven to 12 days after you order from the website to ship the tests.