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You can order 4 free COVID-19 tests from the government starting next week

Americans will be able to order free at-home COVID-19 tests from the U.S. government beginning next week.

The White House on Friday announced that starting on Jan. 19, every American home can order four free at-home COVID-19 tests via a newly-launched website, COVIDtests.gov. There won't be any shipping costs, and entering a credit card won't be necessary to order the tests, the website said. 

"To order their tests, the only two things people will need are their name and residential mailing address," the White House said. "Tests will typically ship through the mail within 7-12 days of ordering, and be delivered First Class through the U.S. Postal Service." 

The White House also said that the administration would be launching a call line to "help those unable to access the website to place orders." 

The launch of the website comes after President Biden announced that his administration had purchased an additional 500 million COVID-19 tests amid concern and criticism that they were not more readily available amid a surge in cases sparked by the Omicron variant. In December, when asked why the Biden administration doesn't give free COVID-19 tests to all Americans, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, "Should we just send one to every American? Then what happens if every American has one test? How much does that cost?"