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White House press secretary Jen Psaki. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Biden administration is finalizing contracts to mail millions of at-home COVID-19 rapid tests "later this month," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.

Why it matters: President Biden began ramping up testing efforts after receiving widespread criticism for not making at-home tests widely available ahead of the emergence of the Omicron variant, which has driven up infections across the U.S.

  • People struggled to find COVID tests ahead of the holidays and amid the explosion in cases, Axios' Shawna Chen writes.
  • The administration announced in December it would purchase 500 million rapid tests and make them available for Americans to order to their home via a federal website.

What they're saying: "We're on track to start seeing movement on some of the awards through the RFP this week," Psaki said at a briefing Tuesday.

  • The "first delivery for manufacturers will start later this month," she added.
  • "We will put the website up and make it available so that people can order tests at that point in time."

Go deeper: America once again faces COVID test shortages

Go deeper

Jan 15, 2022 - Health

Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron

Three COVID-19 testing companies place testing locations outside Grand Central Terminal on Jan. 14 in New York City. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Experts are warning that subsequent COVID-19 variants are likely to come after Omicron, AP reports.

Why it matters: The warnings come as there's no guarantee that subsequent variants "will cause milder illness or that existing vaccines will work against them," underscoring the need for widespread vaccination, AP writes.

25 mins ago - Health

Student's death renews calls for schools to stock opioid overdose drug

Photo: Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A Connecticut student's death has renewed calls for schools to stock and administer naloxone, a drug that can quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Why it matters: U.S. drug overdose fatalities reached six figures in a 12-month period for the first time in November, and synthetic or natural opioids were the cause of a majority of the overdoses.

27 mins ago - Sports

Olympians avoiding COVID at all costs ahead of Beijing Games

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

10 days out from the Olympics, athletes around the world are battening down the hatches in hopes of making it to Beijing COVID-free.

Why it matters: The Beijing bubble — a closed-loop system meant to shut off the outside world entirely — is the strictest ever created for a global sporting event.