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State site for free at-home COVID-19 tests to launch soon

January 19, 2022 GMT

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Health officials in Washington state said Wednesday that residents will soon be able to order free at-home COVID-19 tests through a new state website.

The Seattle Times reported that the site is expected to launch within a few days, and the same week that the federal government launched its own test-ordering tool for households across the country.

Once the state’s website launches, each household will be able to order one testing kit, which includes four to five tests, and the kits are expected to arrive within one to two weeks, said Lacy Fehrenbach, the state’s deputy secretary for COVID-19 response

The state predicts serving 350,000 households in Washington in the first week though more tests will be available over the next several weeks.

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The state is partnering with Amazon and CareEvolution to create the website, health officials had said in early January.

Those with limited internet access or who need a translator will be able to order at-home testing kits through the state’s COVID-19 hotline (1-800-525-0127).

The state, meanwhile, also continues its efforts to distribute tests and masks, particularly to community partners and schools, state Secretary of Health Dr. Umair A. Shah said Wednesday.

Over the holiday weekend, more than a million tests were shipped to community groups and schools and as of Wednesday, 5 million more N95, KN95 and surgical masks had landed in the state, Shah said. Roughly 5 million more masks are also on the way.