White House says 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 tests

Associated Press
Nurse Ray Akindele processes COVID-19 rapid antigen tests at a testing site in Long Beach , Calif., Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Approximately 60 million U.S. households have ordered free at-home COVID-19 tests provided by the Biden administration since the website used to distribute them launched just over a week ago, the White House said Friday.

White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also told reporters Friday that “tens of millions of tests have gone out the door,” without providing an exact figure on the number of households that have already received the tests.

Each household is allotted four free COVID-19 tests from the Biden administration, meaning that 240 million tests have been ordered using or the accompanying phone line the White House has set up. That is nearly a quarter of the tests the White House says it will make available to Americans.

Under scrutiny, Biden announced last month that his administration would purchase 500 million COVID-19 tests to ship to Americans free of charge. The announcement came amid a shortage of at-home tests during the holiday season as the U.S. grappled with the rapid spread of the omicron variant.

Biden has since announced that his administration would purchase an additional 500 million tests to distribute to Americans.

The test website officially launched on Jan. 19, and on Jan. 21 the White House launched a phone line that Americans who cannot easily access the internet can use to order the tests. Americans can call 1-800-232-0233 to order the tests; the phone line is open between 8 a.m. until midnight EST, seven days a week.

The tests are being distributed by the U.S. Postal Service and are expected to take between seven and 12 days to ship.

Tags coronavirus tests COVID-19 tests Joe Biden Karine Jean-Pierre

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