Chicagoans report sign up problems on free COVID test website

A day before the official launch of the White House’s free, at-home COVID test program, some Chicago residents are reporting they can’t sign up.

"Great idea, thank you for the COVID test. But imagine the people that are going to go through the same situation [as] us and we don't want that to happen," said Luis Soto, who has lived in the same Humboldt Park condo for 27 years.

When Soto went to the government website to sign up for the free tests Tuesday, he received an error message.

"It says ‘A home COVID-19 test has already been ordered for this address’, I said, hold on, I'm the only one here."

Soto immediately called his daughter who lives in a basement unit at the same residence and she received the same message when she tried to sign up.

"How many people in the city, all over the United States, are going to have the same problem that I'm going through," said Soto.

The government site, www.covidtests.gov, allows households to order four free tests that will be delivered for free through USPS. The website officially launches Wednesday.

Nationwide, there are reports of issues related to orders coming from multi-unit dwellings with the same address. The U.S. Postal Service confirms this is occurring "in a small percentage of orders."

They are encouraging those who have issues signing up file a service request at https://emailus.usps.com/s/the-postal-store-inquiry or contact the help desk at 1-800-ASK-USPS.

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The free, at-home testing program comes as the Omicron variant of the virus surges across the U.S.

"I think this pandemic has thrown us many curve balls and we've seen that variants can arise without much notice," said Dr. Tom Inglesby, Senior Adviser to the White House COVID-19 Response Team.

He doesn’t think the Omicron strain will be the last wave of the virus the U.S. will experience. He also shed light on the future of Omicron.

"I think it's too soon to say whether people can be re-infected at a high rate with Omicron twice. We do see that certainly people are being re-infected if they've been infected with Delta or prior variants."