White House says COVIDTests.gov will distribute free rapid tests starting Jan. 19

The White House announced that people will be able to order free COVID-19 tests on COVIDTests.gov starting Wednesday, January 19. This follows the promise that the government would set up a website to distribute 500 million tests, announced by President Joe Biden in December.

You will only have to provide two pieces of information for a test to be sent to you: your name and your address. In its announcement, the White House said the tests will be shipped via the US Postal Service “within 7-12 days of ordering.” Currently, the limit is four tests per residential address.

On Wednesday this week, a White House adviser said the site “should be live by this weekend.” Technically, the government has set this deadline – you can visit COVIDTests.gov right now, although it currently shows a landing page letting you know the tests will be available on Wednesday and you won’t have to enter a card number. credit to get one.

The USPS isn’t just responsible for getting people tested. It has also been leveraged to develop a website that will have to deal with potentially millions of people trying to take a test at the same time, according to Protocol. The report quotes a government official who said he “takes the launch of our website very seriously” and that he “did not start from scratch” to build the site. The US Digital Service will also help launch the site and provide support when needed, Protocol said.

Given the government’s lackluster reputation for launching healthcare websites, there is some skepticism about the site’s ability to handle traffic – and some have rightly pointed out that some of the most vulnerable could have difficulty logging in and navigating a website. A White House statement says you will also be able to call a hotline to order tests if you are unable to access the website and that the government “will work with state and local community organizations to support the nation’s toughest. -the communities most affected and most at risk when requesting tests.

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