RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – With 37.8 percent of COVID-19 tests coming back positive in North Carolina and long wait lines at testing sites, people are looking for other ways to find out if they have the virus.
Some were hopeful that the government-issued, free, at-home COVID-19 tests would be a solution.
However, it’s not working out well for everyone.
Kristin Soderberg and her boyfriend haven’t been able to sign up for their free at-home tests. When they try, they keep getting an error message.
“The address you entered is listed as a business address in our system. Currently, we can only ship at-home tests to a valid residential address,” it read.
Soderberg lives in one of the Raleigh apartments complexes where getting COVID-19 tests delivered is becoming complicated.
“The mailroom is closed in the building. They have a sign that says it’s closed and to use the Fetch App,” Soderberg said.
Fetch is a third-party package delivery service. People who live in some buildings or complexes have their packages delivered to a “Fetch” warehouse and then delivered to their front doors.
The Fetch warehouse is a business, which means people who use the delivery service, are having problems ordering their tests.
“If you do need it like immediately and it’s an urgent need, it would be difficult,” Soderberg said. “It would be a hassle to get it if you can’t get it delivered to your address.”
Fetch sent an email out to their clients saying they’re aware of the problem and are working with USPS to try and fix it.
In the meantime, they’re suggesting using listed residential addresses, but that doesn’t always work.
Some people told CBS 17 that when they do that, they’ve run into a different error message, indicating they’ve already requested an at-home test when they haven’t.
CBS 17 crews tried some of the solutions people had posted on social media, including listing the apartment number before the street address on the registration site. USPS didn’t recognize that address either.
Soderberg is frustrated that something so simple is becoming a headache.
“The process seemed pretty simple on the website, but I guess it’s the process of actually getting it to you that’s the issue,” she said. “They need to figure it out somehow.”
CBS17 reached out to USPS.
USPS leaders are seeing some of these issues, especially the error message that indicates a test had already been requested at a “multi-family unit” address.
If people are running into problems, they’re encouraged to file a Service Request or call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).