**FILE** Courtesy of abbott.com

In an attempt to get a handle on the surge in coronavirus cases fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant of the virus, the Biden administration bought one billion COVID-19 tests to give to Americans at no cost.

Starting mid-January, the U.S. Postal Service began taking orders for citizens to receive free at-home COVID-19 tests available online now at special.usps.com/testkits. 

Each order will contain up to four tests per household and take seven to 13 days for delivery. 

To ensure equity and access, the White House said it would also launch a call line to help those unable to access the website and work with community-based organizations to support the highest-risk communities in requesting tests.

“This program will ensure that Americans have at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests available in the weeks and months ahead — in addition to the number of other ways they can get tested,” the White House said in a statement. 

The Tests:

  • Are rapid antigen at-home tests, not PCR.
  • Can be taken anywhere.
  • Results are available within 30 minutes (no lab drop-off required).
  • Work whether or not you have COVID-⁠19 symptoms.
  • Work whether or not you are up to date on your COVID-⁠19 vaccines.
  • Are also referred to as self-tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests.

If you test positive with the at-home test, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says to follow its latest guidance for isolation and the same for negative results. 

Along with this measure, the Biden administration required private health insurance companies to cover the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests starting Jan. 15 and increased the number of COVID-19 tests available to schools nationwide each month to 10 million.

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Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s...

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