PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – As part of President Joe Biden’s plan to distribute 1 billion rapid COVID tests, the United States Post Office is taking orders.
Starting today, Americans can order tests, at no cost, to be delivered to their home.
Each order contains four tests and there is a one-order limit for each residential address. The tests ship within 7-12 days of ordering.
According to the order form, the USPS plans to start shipping the tests out, for free, later this month.
However, you cannot have them shipped to a business or the post office.
Late last year, the Biden administration announced a plan to distribute 500 million free, rapid tests to Americans, followed by a promise to purchase another 500 million tests, last week.
Administration officials also say they will announce their plan to distribute high-quality masks, for free, to any Americans who want one, next week.
Ordering tests in Oregon
With high demand for the hard-to-get COVID-19 tests — Oregonians rushed to the USPS website to order theirs to ship to their house.
“One of my coworkers wrote to me and said, ‘here’s the link’ and it worked. And so, I went and I clicked on it and eventually just got back a notice. It said, ‘sorry, this is a business address’ and ‘we cannot send you your COVID test kits,’” Lorren Sandt of Beavercreek said.
Sandt doesn’t have a physical mailbox at her home in Beavercreek. But she does have a dual P.O. box in Oregon City that serves as both her personal address and her business address. It’s been that way for 20 years, but this latest federal program is flagging it as a business only — denying her the free shipment.
“Not being able to get a test when you pay taxes and you’ve lived in the state and, you know, lived at this address for 20 plus years, it just is very frustrating,” Sandt explained.
Meanwhile, another resident in Beaverton, Stephanie, has a personal P.O. box, which is listed only as her residential address.
“I saw that it said either street address slash P.O. box and I have a P.O. box. So, I went ahead and plug in my P.O. box and it just then led me to the next page of saying, ‘thank you, here is your order number and confirmation,’” Stephanie said.
But in Sandt’s case — she’s in a conundrum. KOIN 6 News has contacted USPS for how to help solve this problem for people in her situation.
In the meantime, if you’re still needing to put in your order, if you include your email address, you can track your order’s status to make sure it gets to your mailbox safely.
Can I order more tests if I live in a large or multigenerational household?
No. To promote broad access, the initial program will only allow 4 free individual tests per residential address.
There are numerous other options to get tested for free, including over 20,000 free testing sites across the country. If you have health insurance, your insurance will also cover the cost of over-the-counter, at-home tests (up to 8 at-home tests per month for each person on your plan).