COVID.gov locates COVID-19 tests, vaccines and masks


JTwo years into the pandemic, the Biden administration launched a virtual hub to help Americans find COVID-19 prevention and treatment resources, including masks, tests and vaccines, in their communities .

The website, COVID.gov, consolidates several existing initiatives into what President Joe Biden described during a March 30 press briefing as a “one-stop shop.” The site includes links to order free rapid home tests; locate free, high-quality N95 masks; finding vaccines and treatments; and assess current risk levels of COVID-19 in specific counties, based on measurements from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The bottom line: Americans will no longer need to scour the internet for vaccines, treatments, tests or masks,” Biden said during the briefing. “Everything is here.”

One of the website’s central features is its promotion of Biden’s “test to treat” program, which is designed to improve access to antiviral drugs that can reduce the severity of illness for those at high risk. In theory, but not always in practice, the program allows someone who tests positive at a pharmacy or health center to seek treatment on site, free of charge. COVID.gov includes a site locator for facilities participating in the test-to-treat program, including retail pharmacies, community health centers and clinics affiliated with Veterans Affairs and the Indian Health Service.

COVID.gov is available in English, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese. The same resources are also available in other languages ​​through the Administration’s hotline at 1-800-232-0233.

While announcing the launch of the website, Biden again implored Congress to authorize additional pandemic funding. A congressional spending bill passed in March did not include additional money for COVID-19 aid, and the shortfall forced the Biden administration to cut purchases of treatments and vaccines, Biden said. The government also had to cut a program that reimburses providers who test or treat people without insurance, meaning some uninsured people now have to pay for COVID-19 tests out of pocket. Unless additional funding is forthcoming, so will some costs associated with obtaining COVID-19 vaccines.

Biden warned at the press conference that supplies of COVID-19 drugs, vaccines and tests could run out in the coming months without more money. “We are already seeing the consequences of Congressional inaction,” he said. “It’s not partisan; it is medicine.

After his remarks, Biden received a fourth COVID-19 vaccine, just a day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a second mRNA booster for adults 50 and older and some immunocompromised people. “It didn’t hurt a bit,” he said.

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Write to Jamie Ducharme at [email protected]


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