White House to launch COVIDTests.gov for free tests

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The White House said on Friday that a new website, COVIDTests.gov, will begin accepting orders on January 19 for free rapid tests to be sent to homes of Americans.

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Why this matters: With the White House stressing the importance of testing during the Omicron boom, President Biden on Thursday announced plans for the government to conduct 1 billion tests.

Running news: Americans can order up to four tests per residential address from the website starting January 19.

  • The tests will ship within 7 to 12 days of ordering, senior administration officials said during a press call on Friday, but that time could be shorter as the program ramps up.
  • The US Postal Service will package and deliver the tests with orders in the continental US shipped via First Class Package Service.
  • There will also be a call line for Americans who do not have internet access to test orders.
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What are they saying: “There are so many ways to get the test, and this is just one more,” explained a senior administration official.

Flashback: The debacle surrounding the rollout of the HealthCare.gov website during the Obama administration comes as a new government website, but senior administration officials said they are confident the site will keep up with demand.

  • The US Digital Service, a group of government technologists assisted the Postal Service with the website.
  • “We didn’t start from scratch, the postal service already has a” website that sells goods to the public and has been for a long time, said a senior administration official. Of course, every website launch has some risks. We’re quite familiar with that.”
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