PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Washington has launched its own online portal that allows residents to request free COVID-19 tests.
Families can apply for up to five rapid antigen tests per household, but the state says supplies will be limited at first. This comes several days after the federal government launched its own site through the United States Postal Service, where individuals can order four free rapid tests per household.
“We anticipate people’s initial need in the test kits will exceed our current supply pretty quickly, but our focus is sharing what we have right now,” Lacy Fehrenbach, the Washington Department of Health’s deputy secretary for prevention and health, said. “We want to make sure the tests we have are in homes when our state needs testing the most – during this current surge.”
According to the Washington DOH, this is a statewide expansion of the ongoing partnership with CareEvolution and Amazon, a pilot program through the National Institutes of Health that delivered 800,000 tests in parts of Eastern Washington. The DOH expanded the partnership across the state once they saw its success.
“This is an important step toward making tests more widely available across the state,” Washington Secretary of Health Umair Shah said. “As we work with our federal partners, we look forward to seeing an increase in the number of tests flowing directly into people’s homes over the next several weeks.”
The DOH is also still running the WA Notify app. Through the app, people can receive exposure notifications and plug in positive test results.
Down in Oregon, State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger held a news conference about the state’s COVID response on Friday morning, a day after the Oregon Health Authority reported more than 10,000 cases.
While speaking to the media, Sidelinger said the state has no current plans to distribute tests across the state like Washington is.
This is a developing story.