: White House making final touches for plan to mail 500 million COVID test kits: report

United States

The Biden administration is hammering out final details with the U.S. Postal Service to start delivering 500 million COVID-19 rapid test kits in the coming weeks, according to a new report.

The Washington Post reported Thursday night that the administration plans to launch a website where people can request test kits to be mailed to them for free. The first tests could be shipped by mid-January, the Post said.

A formal announcement is expected as soon as next week, according to the report, which cited four people familiar with the plans.

Also read: Biden plans to distribute 500 million at-home COVID-19 tests. These states and cities already provide free tests.

The government has reportedly signed at least one contract to purchase test kits, and the Postal Service is in negotiations with its union to keep on roughly 40,000 seasonal workers to help with distribution, the Post reported.

Biden first announced his plans to distribute testing kits in December. Testing sites have been overwhelmed in recent weeks and rapid test kits have quickly sold out at retailers and online amid the surge in new COVID-19 cases caused by the fast-spreading omicron variant.