Coronavirus

The White House announced last week that it would spend $1 billion to increase access to at-home tests.

President Joe Biden speaks about the coronavirus pandemic on Jan. 26. Also pictured at left is Jeffrey Zients, head of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 task force. | Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

By DAVID LIM

10/12/2021 04:30 AM EDT

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The Biden administration plans to triple the nation’s supply of at-home Covid-19 tests by early November, but public health experts say that welcome increase likely won’t be enough to meet surging demand.

The White House announced last week that it would spend $1 billion to increase access to the home tests, with the ultimate goal of making 200 million available each month by the end of the year. That will include production of a test from ACON Laboratories that the Food and Drug Administration authorized this month.

But testing industry executives and public health experts, including former federal officials, say that the government will need to do even more on the testing front to subdue the Delta variant. Demand for at-home tests is expected to soar this fall and winter as the Biden administration finalizes regulations that would require companies with more than 100 workers to ensure any unvaccinated employees undergo testing at least weekly. Increased travel for the holidays, more school screening and the expected return of the flu are also set to pump up demand for at-home tests.

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