Good Question: Where’s my free COVID test
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — This is, without a doubt, the most asked about topic hitting our "Good Question" inbox right now. The government is sending every American free COVID tests. A lot of you placed orders weeks ago.
Where are they?
Here’s one complaint: What happened to the free COVID test kits that the government was supposed to send out at the end of January? Signed up but never received.
Here’s another: Has USPS started shipping any to any part of the country yet? If they haven’t shipped orders from the day they started what’s going on?
covidtests.gov went live last month. It’s the site where we can all order four free tests from the federal government. The Biden White House announced 500 million tests going out to start, eventually one billion in total.
It’s a quick form to fill out online or you can order by phone. Your tests, we’re told, should go out within the next 7-12 days through USPS.
Tens of millions have already been shipped, but where?
The White House Official Release says the Biden Administration wants to make rollout fair for all by "Ensuring Equity and Reaching Hardest-Hit Communities."
Federal officials will prioritize zip codes with the most COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. The first 20% of each day’s orders will go to neighborhoods that measure high on what’s called the Social Vulnerability Index. They’ve done this with vaccines and other initiatives as well.
News10NBC’s Brennan Somers checked the database online. Communities are graded on 15 social factors like poverty, vehicle access, and crowded housing.
The map shows every county in the country. It gets updated every few years.
One example: Monroe County ranks in the middle with a moderate to high level of vulnerability.
Dark blue areas like Sullivan County downstate are more at risk to weather emergencies, disease outbreaks, and so on. The White House COVID Response Team hasn’t elaborated on specific metrics for COVID combined with that index and how that determines who’s getting tests immediately.
At least this gives you some idea of the rollout plan.