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US Government Lunches Website for Free COVID-19 Test Kits

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On Tuesday, the U.S. Postal Service quietly launched its webpage for Americans to request free COVID-19 test kits, one day before it was scheduled to officially launch.

The website, COVIDTests.gov, now provides access to an order form operated by the U.S. Postal Service. Each residential address can order four at-home free COVID-19 test kits, which are delivered by the US Postal Service.

There were isolated reports Tuesday of issues with the site’s address verification tool incorrectly enforcing the four-per-household restriction on apartment buildings and other multifamily structures, but it wasn’t immediately clear how widespread the problem was.

Government tracking data indicates more than 750,000 people accessed the website at one point Tuesday, but it wasn’t immediately clear how many orders were placed for free COVID-19 test kits.

It is not necessary to provide a credit card to order the free tests and there is no charge, unlike the insurance reimbursement program, which began Saturday, where many will be required to submit receipts in order to qualify for free tests.
In the continental United States, the free test kits typically ship 7-12 days after ordering through USPS, which reports shipping times of 1-3 days for its first-class package service.

The availability of at-home tests has been problematic for several weeks throughout the United States. Pharmacies and stores report lengthy backorders and unknown re-stock dates.

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