Coronavirus

A senior administration official told reporters the government has 420 million tests under contract and tens of millions already in its possession.

A BinaxNOW rapid Covid-19 test made by Abbott Laboratories rests on a table. | Ted S. Warren/AP Photo

By DAVID LIM

01/14/2022 03:12 PM EST

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The Biden administration will begin making free at-home Covid-19 tests available through a government website starting Jan. 19 — but the public may have to wait a week or longer to receive them.

Households will be able to order four tests at a time through the website COVIDTests.gov and the tests will “typically ship within 7-12 days of ordering,” according to a fact sheet.

A senior administration official told reporters the government has 420 million tests under contract and tens of millions already in its possession. Officials are finalizing contracts for the 80 million tests remaining out of an initial order of 500 million. The effort to procure and distribute the tests will have a total cost of about $4 billion.

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