Some apartment buildings blocked from ordering Biden’s free Covid tests as site hit with glitch

Postal service says a ‘small percentage of orders’ were affected

Gino Spocchia
Wednesday 19 January 2022 17:04
Comments
<p>A home delivered Covid test</p>

A home delivered Covid test

Some residents of apartment buildings and multi-unit dwellings have been unable to order free Covid tests after the website for federal government at-home test kits went live.

Accounts on social media on Tuesday suggested the error in ordering free Covid tests was widespread, with many residents of New York City unable to access the kits.

A number of users who entered an address for an apartment in a multi-unit dwelling were seeing an error message, or a message saying: “At-home Covid-19 test have already been ordered for this address”.

“I know I’m not the first to encounter this issue, but has anyone living in an apartment building actually been able to order a COVID test through the new government site?” asked a New York Times reporter on Twitter.

“Well, other than the first person in a building, I guess.”

Dozens responded by saying “I know some in apartment buildings who have. But I have not.”

“USPS thinks we already did because this street address already ordered one,” wrote Barack Obama’s former energy adviser and a professor at Columbia University, Jason Bordoff.

“I tried lots of other apartment numbers just to confirm. The system does not recognise diff apts as a diff address, so we’re SOL (S*** out of luck),” Mr Bordoff added.

The federal government’s website only went live on Tuesday, and is a part of the Biden administration’s attempts at addressing a surge in Covid cases across the US and a lack of testing ability.

Households are able to order up to four free Covid tests through the website.

An administration spokesperson told The New York Times that the United States Postal Service (USPS) was working to fix the error, which USPS said was affecting a “small percentage of orders”.

Another administration spokesperson told Politico that the website was prioritising those most in need of Covid tests, which “will help ensure those most in need of the tests are receiving them as quickly as possible”

The USPS told The Independent on Wednesday that the issue was because of building not being registered as multi-unit dwellings, and instructed anybody having issues to contact the USPS help desk.

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