On Tuesday, the White House announced a new website that allows anyone to order a set of four free COVID-19 at-home tests, which will be delivered by the end of January.
People can request the kit by going to COVIDTests.gov and entering their contact and shipping information. At the moment, the programme is limited to four tests per family.
To take advantage of the programme, no insurance is required, and the tests are scheduled to arrive within 7 to 12 days by USPS once the order is placed.
At-home tests are currently sold out in locations around the country.
While the at-home tests are handy, they may not be as accurate as typical PCR tests performed in a laboratory.
Dr Tresa McNeal, a Baylor Scott & White hospitalist physician, advises employing fast tests with symptoms rather than asymptomatic exposure.
“If you have symptoms like fever, sore throat, or cough, that test is more dependable whether it’s positive or negative than if you don’t,” she explained.
COVID-19 data collection is also hampered by at-home tests, which are frequently not reported to health officials.
“We’ve always assumed there are a lot more infections in the community than the actual numbers that we report, either because people don’t get tested or because they use at-home tests,” Stephanie Alvey, assistant director of the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, said.
Regardless, health officials are hopeful that the tests will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
If you need more than four tests, insurance must cover or reimburse up to $12 per FDA-approved at-home COVID-19 test, up to eight tests per month, beginning January 15.
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Depending on the insurance company, insurance can be utilised to cover the cost immediately at most pharmacy counters, or a reimbursement request can be issued directly to insurers for purchases made on or after January 15.
You can also locate solutions at 211Texas.org if you require immediate testing.