Rapid, at-home COVID-19 testing ramping up under Biden’s response plan


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Under President Biden’s new COVID-19 Response Plan, many unvaccinated workers will be required to provide weekly negative COVID-19 test results.

The Biden Administration’s new strategy for managing the pandemic will require hundreds of millions of rapid and at-home COVID-19 test kits.

“From the start, America has failed to do enough COVID-19 testing. In order to better detect and control the Delta variant, I’m taking steps tonight to make testing more available, more affordable, and more convenient,” President Biden said during an address on September 9th.

Under the plan, Biden says he plans to use the Defense Production Act to increase production of rapid tests, including those that you can use at home.

The President reported he plans to spend $2 billion on securing roughly 280 million rapid tests.

“We’re committing $2 billion to purchase nearly 300 million rapid tests for distribution to community health centers, food banks, schools, so that every American, no matter their income, can access free and convenient tests.”

Under the latest COVID-19 Response Plan, retailers are also stepping up to help with supply.

As soon as this week – Walmart, Amazon, and Kroger will begin selling rapid tests at cost for the next three months.

“This is an immediate price reduction for at-home test kits for up to 35 percent reduction.”

Biden says his administration will also expand free testing at 10,000 pharmacies around the country.

Following Biden’s announcement on September 9th, the IRS announced on the 10th at-home test kits purchased from retailers will be covered on taxpayers’ health savings plans.

Most of the at-home tests on the market are antigen tests, which are faster, but less reliable than a PCR test you may get at a clinic or hospital.

Rapid tests are able to give you a negative or positive result in 10 to 15 minutes, compared to PCR tests which typically take 48 hours.

More information on both tests can be found here.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is also offering free testing through the state–through drive-thru sites and participating pharmacies.

DHSS also has an option to mail you an at-home PCR test for free. To find more information or request a test, click here.

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