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First COVID-19 tests arrive after site launch;  millions of free tests ordered since Tuesday

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First COVID-19 tests arrive after site launch; millions of free tests ordered since Tuesday

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Millions of Americans ordered free COVID-19 tests from President Biden’s new website this week and the first kits began arriving in households on Friday, the White House said.

An issue affecting apartment dwellers is “very limited” and being resolved, White House officials said.

The US Postal Service is delivering the tests as Americans grapple with limited testing options amid the omicron surge. Each household has the right to request four tests for free delivery on the website, which went live on Tuesday.

“Demand was high in the first few days across the country. Households across the country are clearly ordering tests and completing the process quickly,” said White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients. “The website is working properly. We already have millions of completed orders through the website and these numbers keep growing every day.

Zients said the administration is aware of an issue where some apartment residents are unable to request tests if someone else in their building has requested tests first. He said the problem applies to a small subset of apartment residents.

“Almost all residents of an apartment can order a test. The US Postal Service has seen a very limited number of instances where addresses that are not registered as multi-unit buildings, in their database, and they are working to address this issue and help people throughout of this process. But I want to point out that this is a very, very small percentage of people who live in apartment buildings. We will make sure these people get free testing.

He said people who had problems could call a hotline to resolve the issue.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the United States was seeing an average of about 745,000 cases per day, a decrease of 5% from the previous week.

Hospitalizations remain at a record 160,000 while deaths have risen to 1,700 a day, although this is well below the pandemic peak of more than 3,000 in January 2021.

“In some parts of the country, we’re seeing the number of daily cases caused by the omicron variant starting to decline,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said. “But, as we have seen in other phases of the pandemic, the surge in cases started at different times in different regions and [we] could continue to see high numbers of cases in some parts of the country in the days and weeks to come. »

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the best-case scenario is that the decline in cases will continue to a baseline of “adequate control”.

“Namely, it doesn’t disrupt what we’re doing,” he said, as scientists view 2022 as a transition year in treating the virus as a manageable disease like the flu.

Dr Fauci said they also needed to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.

“And that is that we are going down to a level that we think would be adequate control, but we are faced with another surprise, with a variant so different that it escapes the build-up of immune protection that we have obtained. through vaccinations. and previous infections,” Dr. Fauci said. “I hope that doesn’t happen. I can’t give you statistics on the odds [is] it happens, but we have to prepare for it. So we hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Mr. Zients insisted that the United States would be better prepared for whatever happens, citing many vaccines and breakthrough drugs that are coming online.

“We have this toolkit and we will continue to develop this toolkit to make sure we can deal with any scenario,” he said.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

First COVID-19 tests arrive after site launch; millions of free tests ordered since Tuesday

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