White House finalizing details to send free COVID tests to Americans soon, report says

Coronavirus

FILE – This Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 file photo shows a BinaxNOW rapid COVID-19 test made by Abbott Laboratories, in Tacoma, Wash. On Wednesday, March 31, 2021, the FDA said Abbott’s BinaxNow and Quidel’s QuickVue tests can now be sold without a prescription for consumers to test themselves repeatedly at home. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(NEXSTAR) – The Biden administration is reportedly one step closer to sending 500 million rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests nationwide. 

The White House is working with the U.S. Postal Service to finalize details on delivering the millions of test kits to those who want them, the Washington Post reports

In the days leading up to Christmas, as the demand for COVID-19 tests began overwhelming some communities, President Joe Biden announced his administration would purchase 500 million at-home testing kits. Americans who want one of the free testing kits delivered to their home will be able to request them via a website that has not yet been made available. 

According to the Post, test manufacturers and distributors looking to contribute to the 500 million tests had to submit proposals to the government. On Thursday, the Biden administration awarded its first contract toward the purchase, the Post reports. 

During a Thursday press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said more details regarding the plan to provide these free tests are expected as soon as Friday.

“As soon as there are more details to report, we will let you all know. That’s what we’re working on right now,” she commented. “We don’t want to put the website up before we know we can provide – even through pre-orders – tests, as people want to request them.”

The White House did not immediately return Nexstar’s request for comment.

This comes as the U.S. faces a surge of cases, largely due to the omicron variant. Although health experts say omicron appears to cause less severe disease and lead to fewer hospitalizations, its rapid spread indicates that it is much more contagious than other variants. Nearly 718,000 COVID cases were reported Tuesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Omicron is currently the culprit in more than 90% of U.S. cases, a dizzying rise from less than 10% two weeks ago.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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