If you haven’t yet ordered your free COVID test kit from covidtests.gov, there are still plenty to go around — nearly half of the tests set aside by the federal government to be distributed to private citizens remain unclaimed, according to the Associated Press.
Nearly half of the 500 million free COVID-19 tests the Biden administration recently made available to the public still have not been claimed as virus cases plummet and people feel less urgency to test.
Wild demand swings have been a subplot in the pandemic, from vaccines to hand sanitizer, along with tests. On the first day of the White House test giveaway in January, COVIDtests.gov received over 45 million orders. Now officials say fewer than 100,000 orders a day are coming in for the packages of four free rapid tests per household, delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.
The White House says Americans have placed 68 million orders for packages of tests, which leaves about 46% of the stock of tests still available to be ordered.
There is a limit of one order per residential address. Each order includes four tests. Although there are signs of the pandemic easing, with many states relaxing their mask requirements testing will remain a vital tool for suppressing the spread of the disease for the foreseeable future, and some experts worry what is being offered isn’t nearly enough.
“If infection control is still our priority, testing is central,” said Dr. Leana Wen, a former Baltimore health commissioner and commentator on the pandemic. “Four tests per household for one family will only last you one time. There should be enough tests for families to test twice a week.”
We ordered and received our tests soon after they became available. We haven’t had cause to use any yet, but I’m glad they’re right here where I can get at them. If you haven’t ordered yours yet, it really couldn’t be easier, and it’s free. Go to covidtests.gov.