The White House has officially begun a third round of free rapid COVID-19 tests for Americans to order directly to their homes. This news comes as the Biden administration continues to urge Congress to pass additional pandemic funding.
Each U.S. household will now be able to order an additional eight free at-home tests at CovidTests.gov. This brings the total number of free tests available to each household since the start of the program to 16.
“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,” the White House said in a statement.
The website for free tests was first launched in January by the government and Americans were able to order a second round in March. However, during the first two rounds, Americans could only order a maximum of four tests per household. The third round doubles that.
Thus far, the Biden administration has delivered approximately 350 million free tests so far, according to a white house fact sheet. The latest round of tests is being funded with money from last year’s stimulus package.
The White House has pushed for $22.5 billion in additional funding for testing, treatment and vaccines, warning that more tests would not be forthcoming without additional spending.
“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 fact sheet said.
COVID cases on the rise
This news follows the grim milestone of 1 million lives lost to COVID-19 and the country enters