WA reopens its website to order free COVID tests, a week after it ran out of stock

Washington state reopened its website that allows residents to order rapid COVID-19 tests on Monday, after running out of supplies and closing the site less than a day after its initial launch.

The state Department of Health has received hundreds of thousands of additional home tests and plans to provide tests to another 120,000 homes with the new batch, according to a DOH statement.

The state first introduced the website, sayyescovidhomettest.org, on Jan. 21, allowing Washingtonians to get up to five free tests shipped to their homes — but within eight hours, all 1.4 million available tests had been picked up. About 340,000 homes received testing then, according to the DOH.

The state at the time blamed the rapid depletion of tests on shortages in the national supply chain, which created difficulties in obtaining kits from local pharmacies and finding appointments at testing sites.

“We are excited to be able to open the portal for the second time this month to increase access to these tests across the state,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Umair A. Shah, in Monday’s statement.

Because demand for testing remains high in Washington, state officials again warned Monday that the website could shut down a second time if supplies run out, but will reopen once new tests arrive. in the state.

The website is publicly funded and in partnership with health technology company CareEvolution and Amazon, the state said. The tests are approved under Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization for children 2 years of age and older. They should arrive at home within “a few days” of ordering, according to the DOH.

The tests are secured by CareEvolution and then shipped to Amazon, which processes and ships them directly to homes, DOH spokesman Frank Ameduri said in an email.

The tests ask users to take a “quick swab” inside each nostril and then wait a few minutes for quick results. Additional instructions on how to test and see results should be included with each kit.

If you test positive, the state encourages you to report your infection to its COVID-19 hotline, 1-800-525-0127 (then press #).

Washingtonians can also get coronavirus test kits through the federal government at covidtests.govat local pharmacies or at a local testing site.

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