USPS working to fix ‘limited number’ of address errors encountered by COVIDtests.gov users

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The U.S. Postal Service is working to fix a “limited number” of cases in which users of COVIDtests.gov were unable to order COVID-19 testing kits after the new federal website went live.

Responding to reporters’ questions at a Friday briefing, White House COVID-⁠19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said USPS was working to fix the issue and to help website users encountering the error.

The comments follow earlier reports that a website flaw left some users unable to request more than a single four-test order for an entire building.

“I want to clarify that almost every resident in an apartment is able to order a test.  U.S. Postal Service is seeing a very limited number of cases where addresses that are not registered as multi-unit buildings within its database, and they’re working to fix that issue or are helping people through that process,” Zients told reporters.

“And as we work through the issue, people can fill out a service request on the website or you can call the hotline on the USPS — United States Postal Service — website to get the issue fixed,” he added.

Since its launch on Tuesday, a day ahead of the schedule previously announced by the White House, the website has had a broadly positive reception. From publicly available indicators, there has so far not been downtime or outages of the service, even as many hundreds of thousands of users accessed the site simultaneously.

The new website is a cornerstone of the Biden administration’s commitment to buy 1 billion COVID-19 testing kits to give out to Americans for free. It is expecting to distribute $500 million of the tests through the site.

As a federal IT system containing personally identifiable information, such as addresses or healthcare details, the site is governed by the Privacy Act. In addition, because it collects data, it must be covered by a system of records notice.

As of 5:19pm eastern time on Friday, COVIDtests.gov remained the most-visited federal government website, with 24,219 users. The next most visited website is USPS.com, with 23,315 users.

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COVID-19, United States Postal Service (USPS), White House
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