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COVIDtests.gov – Free at-home Covid-19 tests

  • 100 points
  • 2 days ago

  • @aaronbrethorst
  • Created a post

COVIDtests.gov – Free at-home Covid-19 tests

@Symbiote 2 days

Replying to @aaronbrethorst 🎙

There's a dead comment (so I can't reply to it) wondering how much these cost. In October, it was reported that US states were overpaying compared to Europe [1]:

> Rapid antigen tests can cost as little as $2 each to make, according to Mologic, one of the largest British testmakers. But in the United States, bidding wars between health systems, state governments, and employers have contributed to much higher prices. ... In Germany, large government purchases allow it to offer rapid tests to residents for less than $1 each

Here in Denmark, they're about 25kr ($4) each in shops, or a little less if ordered online. However, most people go to the public test centres, which are free. (We've reached an average of 19 tests per person, which I think doesn't include home tests.)

[1] https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/...


@abeppu 2 days

4 per "home" -- but in the US the average number of people per household is a bit above 2.5. Similarly 500M tests in a country of 330M people. Both get us to more than 1 but less than 2 test per person. But to make a difference at a public health level, shouldn't we be testing regularly? If you have one test you have to decide when you're going to use it, which will surely be after you're symptomatic. If you want asymptomatic people to realize they're carrying it around, we have to provide enough tests that they can check regularly.

Yes, for those with private insurance it's good that in principle one can be reimbursed for buying home test kits (starting tomorrow) but good luck finding them! When I traveled recently I checked 3 pharmacies, and got responses ranging from "try again next week" to "we've been out of stock for 2 months".


@_nickwhite 2 days

"Ordering begins January 19."

I see they have this behind Akamai. That's a good thing because my first thought was "Man, I hope they have this site behind a good load balancer!"


@SSilver2k2 2 days

For a brief while after getting vaccinated, before Delta and Omicron, my friends, coworkers, and I felt we were out of the woods. We are actively going out together to our favorite hangouts and being normal. I didn't think we would need this site.

Finding out that my Governor let a million tests expire rather than give them out, make me happy this site is available. I'm glad I can rely on the federal government to fix what my state government is ruining.


@TigeriusKirk 2 days

Why are they not just being sent to everyone?

There's a lot of potential good in sending them to people who will never request them.


@panarky 2 days

Seems predictable that a government website won't handle the load on day one.

But this site is hosted by Akamai so maybe this time it's different?


@hn8788 2 days

These would have been nice earlier. They've been out of stock for a long time, and I know people who had to use up their vacation days waiting for them to come back in stock because their employer wouldn't let them back in the office until they showed a negative test result.


@ct0 2 days

By the time you think you need one, and the delay in shipping, its already too late. But its something, I guess. My wife needed a test, 3 weeks ago and I believe she is still waiting for them to arrive from the State.


@smallmouth 2 days

This isn't going to go away until people stop testing.


@wskinner 2 days

Honest question: what is the expected impact of this intervention compared to an alternate world where the intervention is not performed?


@basisword 2 days

How is this only happening now? Do any states already do this?

In the UK we’ve been able to order a box of 7 lateral flow tests, for free (no shipping costs either), once per day, since last April. In other words 49 tests per week (per household). They’re not a perfect solution (since you can test negative when in the very early stages of an infection I believe) but they’re pretty good. They’ve made all of my group interactions so much safer, particularly during this latest wave, and have saved me from hanging out with people who are positive (and asymptomatic at the time) on numerous occasions.

The British government is a joke and they’ve still managed to get basics like rapid testing and vaccinations right. How can a country with resources like the US not have this available?


@empressplay 2 days

Much too little _way_ too late


@benpiper 1 day

Calling these Covid tests is disingenuous. They're PCR tests for viral fragments. We all know someone who had a positive "Covid test" and never showed any symptoms.


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