President Joe Biden launched a website for Americans to order free coronavirus tests on Tuesday, but some people who live in apartments were blocked from placing orders.
Each household can order up to four coronavirus tests from covidtests.gov that will be shipped within 7-12 days, according to the website. However, some people living in apartment buildings had trouble ordering tests from the website.
“I won’t be able to receive at-home tests since my apartment is connected to a commercial building. Wonder how many others will have this issue,” tweeted one user who attempted to order a test.
— Jessica Christian (@jachristian) January 18, 2022
Another user explained that because her basement neighbors ordered a test before her, she could not complete her order.
Alright so the basement neighbors in my rowhouse beat us to ordering the tests… while we have the same address, they put that they were in the "b unit" while I put we were in the "a unit." but still no dice on our unit being able to order tests. any others having this problem?? pic.twitter.com/oxGBkkYYIu
— Victoria Knight (@victoriaregisk) January 18, 2022
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged the possibility of there being “a bug or two” ahead of the website’s rollout.
“Every website launch, in our view, comes with risk. We can’t guarantee there won’t be a bug or two,” Psaki said on Tuesday. “But the best tech teams across the administration and the Postal Service are working hard to make this a success.”
The apartment complex issue stems from specific addresses not registered as multi-unit buildings.
As CNBC reported:
The Postal Service said addresses not registered as multi-unit buildings could lead to difficulties placing orders. People experiencing problems should file a service request at emailus.usps.com/s/the-postal-store-inquiry or call the help desk at 1-800-ASK-USPS.
The website is reportedly still in its testing phase, with an official rollout coming on Wednesday. The Biden administration will still fulfill orders placed on Tuesday, prioritizing people in zip codes facing disproportionate coronavirus deaths and cases. A White House official told Politico, “this will help ensure those most in need of the tests are receiving them as quickly as possible.”
The tests Biden is sending to Americans are manufactured in China. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services signed a $1.28 billion deal to procure tests with iHealth Labs, whose parent company is the Chinese-based Andon Health Company.