Jan. 15 (UPI) — The Biden administration announced Friday that it’ll launch its website to send out some 500 million free at-home COVID-19 tests next week.
The new site — COVIDTest.gov — will go live Wednesday. Americans will be able to order up to four at-home tests per household.
The White House said the tests will “typically” be mailed to the recipients’ homes within seven to 12 days.
The announcement comes one day after President Joe Biden said he plans to make an additional 500 million tests available to Americans for free. All 1 billion tests will eventually be distributed for free through the government website.
The distribution of tests comes amid an increase in COVID-19 cases across the United States, spurred by the rise of the more transmissible omicron variant.
The United States recorded a seven-day moving average of 782,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus Wednesday, the latest day for which data is available. That’s up from 587,000 daily cases recorded a week prior and 119,000 recorded a month prior.
The White House said “testing is an important tool to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” and urged Americans to use the tests at home when they begin to have symptoms of COVID-19.
The Food and Drug Administration, however, said early research indicates that at-home, rapid antigen tests may not be as sensitive to the omicron variant of the virus. The agency said last month that it’s possible the tests could miss an infection, particularly those in the early stages of the disease.