Nearly a month after President Joe Biden first announced that Americans would be able to order rapid at-home COVID-19 tests for free from the government, the administration’s website finally went live on Tuesday. But hours after the site’s launch, users struggled to place orders to homes or apartment buildings where other tenants may have already placed an order.
The extent of the problem is still unclear as of publication on Tuesday, but White House spokesperson Kevin Munoz said, “It’s a really small percentage and USPS will be sending our statement on this shortly.” On Wednesday, the Postal Service confirmed the issue in a statement.
“The Postal Service is seeing very limited cases of addresses that are not registered as multi-unit buildings which could lead to COVID test kit ordering difficulties. This is occurring in a small percentage of orders.”
For assistance, USPS directed people to call 1-800-ASK-USPS or fill out a service request on their website.
Users trying to order tests to multiple-family homes and apartments seem to be experiencing this issue the most. Once a user enters their information into the form, they’re prompted with an error message that says their order could not be placed.
“Our records show that at-home COVID-19 tests have already been ordered for this address. We are unable to process duplicate orders for the same address,” the ordering site’s error page reads.
Last week, the White House issued a statement saying that users will be able to call a hotline to order tests if they are unable to access the website. “There will be free tests available for every household, and to promote broad access, the initial program will allow four free tests to be requested per residential address,” the statement said.
Updated January 19th, 2022 at 5:22PM ET: Added USPS statement.