Biden administration to make 500 million at-home Covid tests available for free

The federal government next month will start mailing at-home Covid test kits for free to any U.S. household that requests one, a senior administration official said, as the omicron variant of the coronavirus contributes to a spike in new cases.

The White House is preparing to ship as many as 500 million kits, and it is setting up a website for people to submit their requests, the official said, without specifying how many tests each household can receive or how quickly.

The federal government also plans to set up 20,000 new testing sites nationwide, with the first one opening in New York City before Christmas, the official said.

President Joe Biden is scheduled to deliver a speech Tuesday about the administration’s plan to combat the pandemic this winter.

Testing remains one of the biggest challenges for the administration, with long lines forming at testing centers in recent days and at-home rapid tests selling out quickly, public health officials have said.

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