US residents can order free, at-home COVID-19 tests starting on January 19th – TechCrunch

One year, 10 months and eight days after the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans will be able to request free home tests from the government. Starting January 19, you will be able to visit COVIDTests.gov and order tests, which will be mailed to your home.

At the moment, the site has a landing page in English and Spanish only. She notes that shipping costs will also be covered.

The Biden administration is buying 1 billion rapid at-home tests to give US residents free. The hope is to make sure everyone has a test on hand when they need it. The White House said 500 million of those tests will be available on January 19th. Initially, you will be able to order four for each residential address.

A phone line is set up so that those who cannot access the website can place an order. The department says it is working with national and local organizations to help people in at-risk and severely affected communities secure testing.

One important thing to note: Tests will usually be shipped within 7-12 days of order. This schedule wouldn’t be incredibly helpful for people who show symptoms of COVID-19 or have close contact with a positive case and don’t have a home test on hand.

However, it’s worth stocking up on these free tests, especially given how in demand they are. Even Twitter accounts known to help people secure new game consoles are providing stock alerts for COVID-19 tests these days.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Engadget.

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