BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Omicron symptoms can trick us into thinking we have a common cold. That’s why so many are rushing to get tested and now the federal government is shipping some peace of mind.
Millions of Americans are rushing to log on to the federal website (www.covidtest.gov) since yesterday to claim their share of FREE at-home testing kits up for grabs.
“People are constantly wondering if they’ve been exposed or infected,” said Dr. Olga Meave, Chief Medical Officer at Clinica Sierra Vista.
In about 12 days, millions of Americans will open their mailboxes to find at-home testing kits inside.
Many people that rushed to log on during the site’s soft launch’ on Tuesday were faced with error messages.
That’s because there’s a strict limit of one (1) order per residential address. Each order contains four COVID-19 tests.
Currently, there are no exceptions to the four-test limit. Even if you live in a household with more than four people, multiple generations, lots of roommates, or any similar setup, you’re still limited to four tests.
The White House offers an explanation on its website: “To promote broad access, the initial program will only allow 4 free individual tests per residential address.”
Dr. Meave says, use them as needed but ideally, it’s all about doing your test at the perfect timing.
“If you are masking when you go outside, if you are avoiding large crowds when you go outside, only test when you have symptoms,” said Dr. Meave. “If you did go outside and you know there was exposure, go ahead and test at home.”
The Biden Administration announced last week the purchase of additional 500-million kits.
You can get up to 8 free additional ones per month thru your insurance provider. This week, Biden also announced the rollout of 400 million N95 masks that will be up for grabs at community health centers and retail pharmacies around the U.S.
It’ll give peace of mind while helping the impacted and stressed local healthcare system.
“They play a huge role in our current stage,” said Dr. Meave. “It is impossible for the healthcare system to give access to everyone for a test because they’ve been exposed to a positive person or because they are experiencing symptoms.”
There have been a couple of issues on the website for people who live in apartment complexes being rejected as duplicates. One workaround that many users have found is to put your apartment number in the street address field.
You can find more details as well as a FAQ on the USPS website dedicated to the distribution of COVID-19 testing kits.