The White House said Friday a new website, COVIDTests.gov, will begin accepting orders Jan. 19 for free rapid tests shipped to Americans’ homes.
Why it matters: The White House emphasized the importance of testing during the Omicron surge, with President Biden on Thursday announcing plans for the government to have 1 billion tests.
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Driving the news: Americans can order four tests per residential address beginning Jan. 19 from the website.
The tests will ship within 7 to 12 days of ordering, senior administration officials said during a press call Friday, but that timeline could shorten as the program ramps up.
The U.S. Postal Service will package and deliver the tests, with orders in the continental U.S. sent through first class package service.
There will also be a call line for Americans who lack internet access to order tests.
What they’re saying: “There’s lots of ways to get tests, and this is just one more,” a senior administration official explained.
Flashback: The debacle surrounding the rollout of the HealthCare.gov website during the Obama administration looms over a new government website, but senior administration officials said they are confident the site will keep up with demand.
The U.S. Digital Service, a group of government technologists, has assisted the Postal Service with the website.
“We didn’t start from scratch,” a senior administration official said, adding that, the Postal Service already has a “website that does sell goods to the public and has for quite some time. Of course, every website launch poses some risks, we’re quite cognizant of that.”
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