Skip to content
CityLab
Government

Biden Taps the Power of the Postal Service for Free Covid Test Program

The rollout of the program to mail up to four rapid tests to each U.S. household joins other administration efforts aimed at trimming bureaucratic hurdles for pandemic services.  

A resident receives free rapid at-home Covid-19 test kits at a vaccine clinic in Philadelphia on Dec. 20, 2021. 

A resident receives free rapid at-home Covid-19 test kits at a vaccine clinic in Philadelphia on Dec. 20, 2021. 

Photographer: Hannah Beier/Bloomberg

On Jan. 18, the Biden administration quietly opened a portal that allows U.S. residents to order free coronavirus tests, a full day before the site’s planned formal launch.

Americans swiftly took notice: Covidtests.gov and special.usps.com/testkits rocketed to the top of the federal government’s website portfolio on Tuesday, according to the U.S. analytics site. As of Wednesday morning, almost 300,000 users were engaging with these sites, accounting for 40% of the federal government’s online traffic.