White House Adds Hotline to Order Free COVID-19 Tests – Here’s How To Get Yours
The White House announced a new hotline to order free COVID-19 tests, in addition to the website rolled out earlier this month.
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The hotline went live Jan. 21, and households can call 800-232-0233 to request up to four free tests. It will complement the federally run COVIDtests.gov website and is meant to provide better access to testing for communities that have had higher coronavirus infection rates than the rest of the country, NBC reports.
In December, the White House had announced it would purchase a half-billion at-home, rapid tests this winter to be distributed for free to Americans who want them, with the initial delivery starting this month.
“We’ve just seen the disproportionate impact on certain communities,” Dr. Cameron Webb, who advises President Joe Biden’s COVID response team on equity, told NBC. “The harder-hit communities have borne the brunt and most difficult aspects of this pandemic.”
The phone line will offer services in English, Spanish and 150 other languages. Orders can be placed from 8 a.m. to midnight seven days a week, NBC reported.
The free call line was added so that “Americans who have difficulty accessing the Internet or need additional support can phone-in orders for their tests,” a government spokesperson said, according to Spectrum News. The number also serves as a vaccination hotline, which has been active for several months.
According to COVIDtests.gov, every home in the U.S. is eligible to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests and orders will usually ship in 7-12 days.
Asked how many Americans have ordered tests so far and whether the plan is still to start sending them out this week during a press briefing on Jan. 21, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said: “Yes, they will be sent out very soon. I don’t have an updated number of how many have been ordered. It’s changing constantly. I expect we will have more of an update on that, hopefully, by next week,” according to a transcript of the briefing.
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