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COVID test kit frustration: Why many people are having problems getting free government tests

Website claims you already ordered your free test kits
Binax tests
Posted at 12:46 PM, Jan 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 12:46:18-05

CINCINNATI — Millions of families have now ordered their free COVID test kits from the government's new website.

And unlike the rollout of a decade ago, the website has been fairly trouble-free.

Just go to, put in your name and address, and you'll get four free test kits shipped to your home. You don't even need to give a credit card.

But some people are having problems placing their order.

Judie Pennington says when she tried to order kits for an older friend, it didn't work.

"When I did that, because she lives in a apartment building with multiple apartments, it didn't go through," she said.

The government says if you enter a street address that has already been used before, the site may deny your order, saying you have already ordered your kits.

Apartment building problem....and solution

It's a real problem for people living in two-family buildings, who all use the same address, and often don't list an apartment number.

So Pennington did some Google searching, and found that you may need to put an apartment number in the top line where it simply asks for an address.

Even though there is a separate line for apartment number, you may need to put that in the address line as well, she discovered.

"I just did what they suggested, on the line for her address, i put the apartment number right there. I just put the apartment number, and it went right through," she said.

Helpful relative problem...and solution

Meantime, several other WCPO 9 viewers who don't live in apartments were also denied their test kits.

Mark Reed is among them.

"My wife tried to log on first," he said, "and it said someone had already ordered from our address."

Reed was stumped, until he emailed a number of relatives and found a well-meaning sister-in-law had ordered for him

"A family member responded saying they had indeed ordered for everybody in the family," he said.

It was a little embarrassing, but his kits are now on the way.

There is no one you can call if you have a problem.

So if you are still stumped, ask a family member to try it on their computer, and check to see if anyone else has already ordered for you, so you don't waste your money.


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