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COVID-19: Website for free virus tests is here. How does it work?

Yoopya with Associated Press

Under criticism after weeks of shortages, President Joe Biden’s administration is working to make COVID-19 rapid test kits more available and accessible to Americans by boosting supply and lowering costs. A new federal website to request free test kits officially launches Wednesday — but was available to use Tuesday — with the first shipments going out to U.S. households by the end of the month. In addition, most Americans are now able to get reimbursed for tests that they purchase.

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden, accompanied by FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell, speaks about the government’s COVID-19 response, in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Campus in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Key details about the new programs:

HOW CAN I REQUEST A FREE TEST?

Free tests can be ordered at covidtests.gov or at usps.com/covidtest. The first tests will ship by the end of January. The White House says “tests will typically ship within 7-12 days of ordering” through the U.S. Postal Service. USPS reports shipping times of 1-3 days for its first-class package service in the continental United States. Shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, Army Post Office (APO), Fleet Post Office (FPO) and Diplomatic Post Office (DPO) addresses will be sent through Priority Mail.

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COVID-19: Website for free virus tests is here. How does it work?