Starting today, free rapid COVID-19 tests are available to order through the U.S. government. It’s the latest tool that the Biden administration is employing to fight the virus.
Pegged to officially launch on Wednesday, orders opened a day early for free tests to ensure a smoother rollout. In total, 500 million tests will be available during this phase of distribution. It’s part of the 1 billion tests ordered by the Biden administration for at-home distribution.
Each household is currently limited to four at-home tests. In a statement from the White House, that amount was chosen to ensure there is broad access to materials.
Households and communities hardest hit will be prioritized in the rollout, and the program includes a hotline for ordering. It’s unclear when that hotline will be launched, however.
All residential households in the United States are eligible to sign up and receive four individual rapid COVID-19 tests. No payment is required.
Where can I sign up?
Those interested can sign up directly through the USPS website. The form asks for contact information, including your name and mailing address.
The White House has also set up a website that explains where to find retailers that sell at-home tests, how to get the cost of tests reimbursed, and where to find free testing sites.
What type of tests will be shipped?
The Biden administration is purchasing rapid, antigen COVID-19 tests. They’re different from PCR tests, and results are available within 30 minutes.
How long will it take to arrive?
The Biden administration is teaming up with the United States Postal Service to ensure delivery to residential addresses nationwide. According to the USPS website, tests are expected to ship by First-Class Mail within seven to 12 days of ordering. The website says shipping will start at the end of January.