- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The Biden administration on Tuesday said Americans can visit COVIDTests.gov to order eight additional at-home tests for the coronavirus.

Americans can acquire free tests that are shipped to their homes under the program, which started in January amid complaints Mr. Biden’s team was caught flat-footed by the omicron wave. 

The latest round of ordering means each household has been eligible for up 16 home tests under the program.

The administration said testing will help the U.S. identify cases and pump the brakes on caseloads that are averaging 90,000 per day, up 57% from two weeks ago.

Actual case counts are likely much higher because many people use at-home tests and do not report the results.

“As the highly transmissible subvariants of omicron drive a rise in cases in parts of the country, free and accessible tests will help slow the spread of the virus,” a White House fact sheet said.

Hospitalizations aren’t rising as fast as known infections, given levels of immunity and the lower severity of the latest strains, and sit at around 22,000 patients.

The White House said more than 70 million households have visited COVIDTests.gov to order at-home tests. So far, the U.S. Postal Service has delivered approximately 350 million free tests to mailboxes and doorsteps.

The administration tapped funding from last year’s virus-relief package to purchase the latest round of tests. It said that new funding will be needed to sustain the program.

“Due to Congress’s failure to provide additional funding for the nation’s COVID-19 response, the administration cannot continue making the types of federal investments needed to sustain domestic testing manufacturing capacity, and this may jeopardize the federal government’s ability to provide free tests moving forward,” the White House said.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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