Last week the Biden Administration launched a new covid information website that is meant to be a one-stop shop for everything from free high-quality masks to antiviral pills.
The website, COVID.gov, follows through on a promise President Biden made in his State of the Union address. In that speech he announced a test-to-treat program "so people can get tested at a pharmacy, and if they're positive, receive antiviral pills on the spot at no cost."
The antiviral pills he referred to are highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death among people who are at high risk of severe disease from COVID infection. But they have to be taken within the first five days of the onset of symptoms. Up to now, there has been a disconnect between people getting diagnosed and actually getting these life-saving medications.
The site also offers:
- A vaccine/booster locator
- A form to order free at-home COVID tests (currently 8 maximum per household)
- A CDC community risk level lookup
- A testing locator
- Information about where to get free high-quality masks
- Information on COVID symptoms, treatment, testing and travel
Much of the information offered has been available in various other places but this site brings them all together in one place.
Having the information and supplies now is less about concerns today than about what happens six months from now if there is another COVID surge, like is happening now in Asia and Western Europe.
The COVID.gov website was designed to be as accessible and easy to use as possible. It is available in English, Spanish and a simplified Chinese, and the writing is purposely simple so the largest possible audience can understand and use the site. There is also a phone number for people who are not comfortable with the web.
If you would like to see the website but do not use or have access to a computer or the internet, we encourage you to ask a family member or friend if they can help you. Also, public libraries usually have computers available for public use and you can ask a librarian for help in accessing the site.