By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) – For those looking for the sometimes hard-to-find at-home COVID-19 tests, you can now order them online and have them delivered to your home.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now accepting requests for the free rapid tests at

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The site, which was scheduled to begin accepting requests on Wednesday, opened a day early.

The initial program will allow four free tests to be requested per residential address “to preserve broad access.” Tests are expected to ship within 7-12 days of being ordered.

On the process of test procurement, a senior administration official said, “The administration is quickly completing a contracting process for this unprecedented purchase of 500 million at-home rapid tests, with over 420 million tests already under contract. All paths interactive through this program will be rapid at-home tests that have been granted an emergency use authorization by the FDA. Half a billion tests will be available for order on January 19.”

The official also mentioned the administration will also be launching a free call line for the tests, but a launch date wasn’t provided.

Pressed by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins as to whether the US government had yet secured the initially promised half a billion tests, the official noted that “we’re working to finalize the contract on the last 80 million, and this is an unprecedentedly large purchase,” adding that “it’s been going at a fast speed.”

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The total cost for the initial 500 million tests, the official said, is around “$4 billion” for purchase and distribution.

Earlier this month, the Department of Defense announced three major contracts totaling nearly $2 billion for COVID-19 test kits, part of the Biden administration’s efforts to make the scarce kits more readily available to the public.

iHealth Labs Inc., based in Sunnyvale, California, was awarded a $1.275 billion contract for Covid-19 rapid antigen tests. Roche Diagnostics Corp., based in Indianapolis, was awarded a contract for $340 million, and Abbott Rapid Dx North America LLC, based in Orlando was awarded a contract for $306 million.

The announcement included no information about the number of test kits the contracts will purchase, but the contracts all have an estimated completion date of March 14, 2022.

Overall, the Biden administration has pledged to acquire 1 billion rapid tests — initially 500 million to distribute by mail to Americans for free, with another 500 million to meet future demand.

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