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White House to launch COVID test-ordering site ‘by this weekend,’ reports say

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President Biden promised the site late last month

President Biden Delivers Remarks On December Jobs Report Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

On Wednesday, a senior White House adviser said that a government-run website to order COVID-19 rapid tests “should be online by this weekend,” according to new reporting from PBS NewsHour. Tests should start arriving this month.

The promise comes weeks after President Joe Biden announced that Americans would soon be able to order 500 million free COVID tests directly from the government. “We’ll have websites where you can get them delivered to your home,” Biden said in a speech on December 21st as the Omicron variant surged across the country. In prior remarks from White House press secretary Jen Psaki, the website would go live “as soon as these tests are available.”

Still, the White House has yet to provide any additional details about the website, like its exact launch date or how many tests a person is allowed to order at one time.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Verge.

The news comes on the heels of the Biden administration announcing a new policy requiring insurance companies to reimburse up to eight over-the-counter at-home COVID-19 tests starting January 15th. Under this new policy, details of which were shared by the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday, Americans will either have to purchase tests through their insurance or submit receipts for reimbursement. A family of four would be eligible for up to eight tests per person, per month.

In addition to the new government-run website and insurance reimbursement policy, the Biden administration is planning to provide 50 million free, at-home tests to community health centers and rural clinics across the country and to establish over 20,000 free community-based testing sites.

In his December speech, Biden also announced that the administration is working with Google to make it easier for Americans to find testing locations when they search for testing sites through the search engine. Last month, Google spokesperson Lara Levin told The Verge that the testing arrangements are part of the company’s ongoing work “to make testing (and then vaccine) info available in Search and Maps.”