Free COVID test website will be relaunched by federal government – ABC News

The Biden administration on Thursday will relaunch its website for ordering free COVID-19 rapid tests.

Each household will be able to order four at-home rapid tests and orders will begin to ship out next week, a senior administration official said in a call with reporters upon Wednesday to preview the White House’s winter preparedness plan with regard to the virus.

COVIDTests. Gov had been shut down for about three months, after officials said they needed to hold onto the remaining supply of tests regarding a potential wave associated with cases this winter.

The site first launched in January, when President Joe Biden pledged in order to give out 1 billion free rapid tests to combat the particular omicron surge.

But the ordering form was taken offline in September, when the administration said that without more COVID-19 funding from Congress, it couldn’t allow the check supply in order to diminish any further. Since then, the fight for money has remained in a stalemate, along with Republican lawmakers skeptical of its value.

The management does appear to have found more funds for quick tests within existing COVID-19 allocations and will not only open up ordering intended for the assessments that still remained back in the stockpile inside September but also purchase a lot more, the senior official said.

The recognized wouldn’t say from what other pandemic-era programs the particular funds for new tests were pulled or how many tests will certainly be available through the website. Americans ordered about 600 million tests before the authorities shut down the site in September, or even about 60% of the 1 billion free tests Biden pledged to make obtainable.

“Procurements are ongoing, so I can’t give you exact numbers on how this is going to land. But we feel confident that will we’re going to have enough tests to get through this next round to get four [tests] per household in the particular coming weeks, ” the official said.

PHOTO: Photo illustration of a government issued COVID-19 at home test kit.

Photo illustration of a government issued COVID-19 at home test kit.

Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images, FILE

Prior in order to the portal shutting straight down, Americans had the opportunity to purchase 16 total tests per household over three different rounds.

Yet COVIDTests. gov is not the only way to secure totally free tests. People can also still purchase up to eight rapid checks per month at drug stores and supermarkets, fully reimbursable by insurance. And though there are less and less in recent months, there are still free government-run testing sites, which can be found on COVID. Gov/Tests .

The administration on Wednesday also announced a handful of other winter readiness measures, though none amounted to significant new efforts that haven’t been tried throughout the pandemic.

“We know what to do in this particular moment. We have the tools and infrastructure and know how we need to effectively manage this time to prevent hospitalizations plus deaths, minimize disruptions and respond to challenges. Everyone just has to do their part, ” the particular official stated.

The management will encourage governors in order to stand upward more vaccination and testing sites, as well as “Test to Treat” websites, where people can get tested for COVID-19 and then prescribed Paxlovid, the antiviral medication that significantly reduces the particular risk associated with hospitalization plus death pertaining to high-risk individuals if used within five days of infection.

If necessary, the federal government said these people will send teams and medical personnel to alleviate strains on hospitals. The White House also plans to distribute a winter playbook meant for nursing homes — often sites of substantial spread plus death, given the age of the particular people living there — which the administration established described as “a shorthand document focused on updated vaccinations, treatment for residents testing positive and improving indoor air quality. ”

The White House’s rollout of the winter preparedness plan comes as cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all on the particular rise post-Thanksgiving gatherings — and although all three metrics are usually still lower than they had been this time around last year, at the beginning of the omicron surge, there is also new public health pressure this year from a sharp rise in instances of flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

The particular newest COVID-19 booster shot, a possible mitigation tool, has seen minimal interest, with uptake sitting in just 13. 5% of people over 5 years old, according to govt data.

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