COVID Chicago: Residents appreciate ease of at-home tests

Free at home COVID test Illinois: Biden administration says people will be able to visit covidtests.gov for free tests
CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's been a struggle for many Chicagoans to find COVID tests.

But the government and the insurance companies are rolling out some options.

And that means finding a quick testing option might become a little easier this week.

Courtney Scott works in the restaurant industry and was getting tested in the Loop Monday morning due to her job's weekly testing requirement, but finding test appointments has been a struggle.

"Yeah it would be more easier to do it at home instead of just look for a place to book an appointment because I tried to get a test yesterday, and everything was closed," Scott said.

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Not every employer will accept an at-home result, but over-the-counter tests may now be easier to come by.

The Biden administration is getting ready to roll out free at-home COVID tests this Wednesday. Households will be able to order up to four tests by going to the website covidtests.gov.

All you have to do is enter your name and address and the tests will be delivered in seven to 12 days.

UIC law student Emily Art needed an in-person test for school Monday morning, but she thinks the new options are a good opportunity for people to take their safety into their own hands and get results quicker.

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"I guess my only fear is the lack of data collection from it," Art said. "You know, we're all focused on looking at the different trends of COVID and the different variants, so I think although it may bring people peace of mind, I worry about the lack of data."

Meanwhile insurance providers will now cover the cost of over-the-counter tests -- up to eight tests a month per person at up to $12 a test.

"When you are going to request these tests, the at home tests, and they ship them at home, you should plan ahead," said Dr. Ramon Lorenzo Redondo, assistant professor at the Northwestern University School of Medicine. "You shouldn't ask for them when you are sick, that's not going to be useful."

"I think it'd be a good opportunity to know for, you know, one's safety and their like immediate circle," Art said.

To receive these free at-home COVID tests, all people need to do is visit the site covidtests.gov.

You enter your name and address to receive a test.

The White House said they will also launch a call line for people who can't get to a computer.
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