© Reuters. A nasal swab is tested in a COVID-19 self testing kit provided by the District of Columbia government, which provides city residents four free take home tests per day, in this illustration taken January 11, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Illustration
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Starting next week, Americans will no longer be able to order free at-home COVID-19 tests from a website set up by the U.S. government due to limited supply arising from a lack of congressional funding.
The COVIDTests.gov website, set up during the Omicron variant record surge in cases, helped U.S. households secure COVID-19 tests at no cost.
President Joe Biden in January pledged to procure 1 billion free tests for Americans, including 500 million available through the website. However, ordering through the program will be suspended on Sept. 2.
The decision was made as “Congress hasn’t provided additional funding to replenish the nation’s stockpile of tests,” a notice on the website said.
“We have already distributed over 600 million tests through this program, and every household has had the opportunity to place three orders for a total of 16 tests,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a briefing.