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As COVID-19 cases explode, the Biden Administration is preparing an initiative to mail rapid home tests across the country. According to a report from The Washington Post, White House officials hope to launch an online distribution operation this month.
The news comes roughly three weeks after President Joe Biden addressed the nation before the Christmas holiday. Biden, who has received criticism for his slow response to the Omicron variant, promised in his speech to ramp up testing efforts.
As cases were escalating, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reportedly played down the idea of mailing masks to every American. Shortly after, free tests became almost impossible to schedule. Americans who were lucky enough to find home tests in stores were paying $25 per kit.
Now, the administration seems ready to address issues of testing access and equity head on.
US Government takes on massive logistical effort to slow the spread of the Omicron variant
While there has been no formal announcement, sources indicate that the US Government has signed at least one contract with at least one test manufacturer. In addition, the US Postal Service is reportedly in discussions to keep tens of thousands of seasoner workers on payroll.
This massive effort would allow Americans to request free, rapid, at-home tests through an online government portal. Those tests would then be processed and mailed out through the postal service.
The White House plans to begin shipping the COVID test kits by the middle of the month.
This welcome news comes as the US lists record cases of the virus. Health departments across the country have reported more than three million new cases of the virus just this week alone.
President Biden and health officials across the nation continue to urge all Americans to get their vaccinate and booster shot. The CDC recently updated guidance to allow all individuals ages 12 and up to receive their booster five months after full vaccination. That same guidance also allows children between the ages of 5-11 to receive their booster if they are at high risk for complications.
To find and make an appointment to receive your COVID-19 vaccine or booster, visit www.vaccines.gov/search.