Problems ordering free COVID-19 tests to your NC address? Try these quick fixes

·3 min read
Ted S. Warren/AP

On Tuesday, a federal website launched that allowed people to order free at-home rapid COVID-19 tests through the government went live.

The rollout is part of an effort by the Biden administration to increase access to testing amid a surge in cases and hospitalizations across the country caused by the omicron variant.

While Americans can now visit CovidTests.gov to order up to four free tests that will be shipped directly to them, some have run into error messages or other issues after attempting to compete the process.

Here are some common website problems, and what to do if you receive them.

“At home COVID-19 tests have already been ordered for this address.”

If you get this message, the U.S. Postal Service suggests checking with others in your household to determine if someone else has placed an order, searching for a testing site near your home or filing a service request on the USPS website.

“We couldn’t validate your address.” or “We couldn’t validate your address as complete.”

If you see either of these messages, then the address you entered is not a recognized delivery address, or the address you entered may be missing a suite or apartment number, according to the USPS.

To confirm proper formatting of your address, refer to the zip code lookup tool on the USPS website. Once your address has been validated, you can attempt to order tests again.

This problem can also be fixed by filing a service request.

“The address you entered is listed as a business address.”

Free COVID-19 tests are only available to ship to residential addresses and residential P.O. boxes. If you believe the address you provided is a residential address, a service request should be filed.

What to do if you live in a multi-dwelling unit

There have been reports of some people who live in apartments, duplexes or other multi-dwelling units receiving one of the error messages above.

According to the USPS, the system may not recognize the address being entered as a single residence within a multi-unit building.

If you live in an apartment, a tip that worked for some Twitter users suggests entering your apartment number in the first line of your address immediately after the delivery address, rather than separating it onto the second line.

You can also try entering your apartment number in the second line of your address, as long as you type in any letter or number combination as a single unit with no spaces. For example, if you live in unit 3A, you would type “3A” in the second line, instead of “3 A.”

Some people have had luck reversing their address units. For example, if you live in unit C704, you can try entering “704C” into the first or second address line.

If you still have trouble entering a valid address, you should file a service request with the USPS.

What to do if the website isn’t working

If you are experiencing difficulty on the website, you should try clearing your web browser cache or switching to a different browser.

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