“More than 80% of those who have ordered their tests have got them, and the rest will get them this week,” said Dr. Tom Inglesby, senior adviser to the White House Covid-19 response team, on CNN’s “New Day.”
About 10 million people are still waiting to receive their tests. Several have written to CNN in recent days to air their frustration that their kits have not yet arrived, some nearly a month after they asked for them.
The majority of CNN readers praised the ordering process and said it was easy and fast.
Still waiting for their samples
Those requesting tests received confirmation emails saying they would receive tracking numbers and updates on expected delivery dates once their orders are shipped. But for some people, that’s the last thing they hear about their tests.
Irene DiCaprio, who placed her order on Jan. 18, has not received any information on when her test will arrive at her home in Orange, Connecticut. Several friends living elsewhere in the state received their set within a week or two of signing up.
DiCaprio, 70, would like to have the tests in hand before she and her husband travel to Las Vegas in a few weeks for a family reunion that has been on hold for two years. She has only one home test left from a box she bought at Walgreens. As a Medicare enrollee, she is not yet eligible to have the cost of home tests purchased from retailers covered.
“I would think that something of this importance would have a high priority and there would have been more attention and effort on how the distribution would develop,” said Baize, 67, who ordered the tests on January 19, but not yet. have received them.
He initiated a case with the postal service on Sunday to try to get some answers, but has not yet heard back. Meanwhile, his family in the Detroit area received their free federal tests shortly after ordering them.
Asked at a news conference Wednesday about the progress of the free home test program, White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients praised the job the postal service is performing.
Once the package is shipped, more than 60% will be delivered within 24 hours and 90% within 48 hours, he noted.
“This is an effort that has no precedent,” Zients said. “There has been an incredible demand and an incredibly strong execution that has sent 200 million tests directly to the doorstep of Americans.”
Falling cases count
Still, tests will be needed to disrupt the spread of Covid-19 over long-term, as they allow people to get quick diagnoses and access treatment, as well as protect more vulnerable Americans, Inglesby told CNN.
“We are very pleased to see that it is slowing down,” he said of the Omicron rise. “But we’ll need these tests in the long run.”