Those interested in learning if they have the virus can search “free COVID test near me” to find the closest site, including ones that they may not be aware existed, a senior administration official said.
Google did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News about its participation in the project. Testing is one of President Biden’s centerpieces in his effort to counter the spread of the omicron variant in the U.S.
The president is expected to announce later today that the U.S. will purchase half a billion rapid COVID-19 tests that will be distributed to Americans for no cost, the official said.
Biden is also expected to announce increased federal support for hospitals, which includes the mobilization of 1,000 members to the military to assist hospitals that may be overwhelmed with cases.
Omicron has raced ahead of other variants and is now the dominant version of the coronavirus in the U.S., accounting for 73% of new infections last week, federal health officials said Monday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers showed nearly a six-fold increase in omicron’s share of infections in only one week.
Omicron is responsible for an estimated 90% or more of new infections in the New York area, the Southeast, the industrial Midwest and the Pacific Northwest. The national rate suggests that more than 650,000 omicron infections occurred in the U.S. last week.
An unvaccinated man in his 50s with underlying health conditions is believed to have been the first American to die from the omicron variant, reports said.