Free COVID-19 tests are now available to order online through a new government website that was quietly launched Tuesday, a day earlier than originally announced, anticipating a few hiccups along the way.
Covidtests.gov is the new government site created by the Biden administration to help curb the spread of the omicron variant and address demand in testing.
“It’s quick. It’s faster than logging into Instagram,” noted Orlando Velazco of Chelsea, Massachusetts.
The process was quite simple for Velazco: He logged in and clicked on “order free at-home tests.” He then filled in the online form with his name, email, and home address.
Velazco will have to wait seven to 12 days before receiving a shipment of four tests.
“If I could just take the test at home quickly and then keep an eye on them and then get the results, then I’d feel a little bit better,” he said.
The site notes only one order can be placed per household. There is no indication on when – or if – the government will make more available later.
That all sounded great to Michelle Roux, until she realized she couldn’t place an order.
“It just flashed up ‘somebody has already ordered through your address,'” she said of the message she received on the website after typing in her home address.
The glitch was also impacting some people living in apartments or multi-unit homes.
The Department of Health and Human Services has yet to address the issue, only saying there will be other options for those unable to get tests through the website.
Those with health insurance can claim eight at-home COVID-19 tests per person, per month, either paid for upfront or through reimbursement depending on one’s health plan.
Regular public testing sites also remain available.