On a call with a senior administration official, the Biden Administration announced that COVID-19 at-home rapid tests would be available to all Americans free as of this weekend.
"Public health experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agree," the official said. "That Americans should consider using at-home rapid tests in the following situations: First, if they begin to have symptoms consistent with COVID; second, at least five days after close contact with someone who has COVID; and third, if someone is gathering indoors with a group of people who are at risk of severe disease or are unvaccinated."
Tests will be available from pharmacies and online retailers. As of Saturday, January 15, health insurance companies will be required to pay for the tests with no expense to the insured.
As of January 19, Americans will be able to visit COVIDTests.gov and order tests. The tests will be shipped within 7 to 12 days. Each household will be restricted to four tests per address. All citizens will need to order are their name and their address.
In February, the federal government will use the Defense Production Act to increase supplies of tests as quickly as possible. It's expected that there will be 375 million tests available. In addition, the Administration is purchasing another 1 billion tests after those tests.
There will also be a free call line to assist those who have difficulty accessing the test ordering site.
These home tests are in addition to the 20,000 free testing sites already around the country.