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PSA: Pre-orders open for free COVID-19 rapid tests

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C’mon, gamers, we know how to do this

Dr. Mario holds up a red and blue pill Image: Nintendo

A quick PSA: The Biden administration’s project to distribute free COVID-19 rapid tests is underway with the Tuesday launch of covidtests.gov. Each household in the United States is eligible for four free at-home COVID-19 test kits, delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.

Visit the website for more information on the program, and to be taken to a USPS page where you can order the kits. The rapid-test kits are an important tool to control the spread of Omicron and all other variants of the novel coronavirus. If you’ve been told a friend or loved one has COVID, and you’re not sure if you also have it, a quick at-home test can save time, give you peace of mind, or help you know when to isolate to keep from transmitting the virus to friends, co-workers, and loved ones.

Why is Polygon bringing this to your attention?

  • Logging into high-traffic websites to order higher-demand products is native to video games culture! You, gamer, are uniquely equipped to get these free tests and support the public health.
  • It’s free. Think of these four COVID-19 rapid tests as this month’s selections from the Humble Government Bundle. You don’t want to miss out, right? This is free stuff you’re entitled to with a recurring subscription — that subscription being the taxes you pay.

Covidtests.gov became, by a country mile, the United States’ most popular government website when it launched on Tuesday. It’s showing 137,587 concurrent users at the time of publication, which by comparison is just behind the number of concurrent Steam users playing Apex Legends.

The testing program’s launch will be followed by another program beginning next week that will distribute 400 million free N95 masks. The masks will come from the government’s Strategic National Stockpile and will be available through tens of thousands of pharmacies and federal community health centers.

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