Federal COVID Test Ordering Site Hits Its First Bump…and It’s a Big One

Lost_in_the_Midwest / shutterstock.com
Lost_in_the_Midwest / shutterstock.com

Since the very beginning of the pandemic, we’ve known the importance of quick and reliable testing. If we don’t know if we have COVID, how are we expected to know if we can spread it?

Even as other countries got free COVID tests and were able to test regularly, the U.S. lagged behind. First, it was because the FDA didn’t want to approve the home testing kits. Then, it was because the tests were impossible to find. Of course, it didn’t help that Biden was sitting on millions of tests inside of a warehouse.

Now, the Biden administration promises that they’ve got everything figured out. Everyone can go to COVIDtests.gov and order four free tests. They’re completely free, including shipping.

There’s just one problem…and it’s a big one. Those inside of apartments may not be able to get theirs. The way in which the USPS identifies addresses for apartments can mean that once a person from an apartment building signs up, it shows that the address has already requested a test. Anyone with a different apartment number can’t get theirs because the building address is still the same.

Essentially, as the USPS explains it, it’s when a building is not registered as a multi-unit complex. They assure that it will only affect “a small percentage of orders.”

Think about the number of apartments throughout the country. While it’s not happening everywhere, it’s happening enough that many people are waving their hands in the air and pointing out the problem.

Thousands of people are affected…and this is the first bump of the ordering site.

We already know that there are going to be more bumps because that’s the way a rollout of this magnitude works.

The website says that orders will be sent out within 7 to 12 days, but that’s not really too accurate, either.

One administration official was quick to explain that orders are actually being prioritized. The first 20 percent of test orders processed will go to those in vulnerable ZIP codes where there are disproportionate numbers of COVID cases and deaths.

We should also point out another issue. People are only able to order four. What happens when someone has a larger family? It’s not uncommon for people to have six or more people living under one roof. That means that they’ll have to pick and choose who gets tested, which is hardly an ideal situation.

Georges Benjamin, the executive director of the American Public Health Association, explains that “the issue is if you’re lower income, and you have more than one family in the same household at that same address.”

Perhaps setting it up based on address wasn’t the right answer. Perhaps it should have been set up by Social Security Number. Oh, wait, thanks to Biden, there are countless individuals in the country without that number because they are here illegally. And yet, they have an internet connection. But we’re not supposed to be pointing out such things.

Not surprisingly, reporters had a number of questions about this website, the rollout, and how issues would be handled. Jen Psaki, in her typical sarcastic tone, told everyone not to expect a perfect rollout. “We can’t guarantee there won’t be a bug or two.” Yeah, or three or five or seven million.

With all the tech and all the money that the federal government has, we expect rollouts that are closer to perfect than they are. Remember when HealthCare.gov crashed on day one of enrollment in the Obama administration? We do.

Traffic on the COVID testing website has been high since it first came online. As of this being published, it hasn’t crashed. Now, let’s see what happens next month when everyone has already used up their four tests…