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'Small percentage' of Americans ordering COVID tests from USPS site report error

Many of those who reported problems live in apartment buildings or other multi-family dwellings. You can report the problem to USPS or try a workaround.

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration's website for ordering free at-home COVID-19 tests is officially live after "beta testing" Tuesday. The process went smoothly for many users -- but some reported problems.

In many reported issues, the website's address verification tool mistakenly enforced the four-per-household cap for entire apartment buildings or other multi-unit housing. In some reports, the website showed a message stating that tests had already been ordered for the address. Another user said she was barred because her street address was shared with a business. However, other orders to apartment buildings appeared to go through without problems. 

A spokesperson for the Postal Service said in a statement that the error was “occurring in a small percentage of orders.” The service told CNBC that some problems could be connected to multi-unit housing that is not correctly registered.

At points Tuesday, more than 750,000 people were accessing the website at the same time, according to public government tracking data, but it was not immediately known how many orders were placed. 

"We can’t guarantee there won’t be a bug or two," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during Tuesday's beta launch. "But the best tech teams across the administration and the Postal Service are working hard to make this a success."

RELATED: Here's how to get free N95 masks from the government, starting next week

What do I do if I'm having issues with the website? 

The Postal Service said any user needing assistance could file a service request at emailus.usps.com/s/the-postal-store-inquiry or contact a help desk at 1-800-ASK-USPS. 

According to social media users, there's also some workarounds you can try: Putting your unit number at the end of your street address in Line 1, rather than in Line 2; or making sure to write your unit as one word (3B instead of 3 B). 

Other users were able to order after they used USPS's ZIP Code Lookup By Address tool to find how their address and unit number is listed in the service's records. 

In the meantime, most Americans will be able to get reimbursed for tests that they buy. Under a new Biden administration rule, private insurers must cover the cost of up to eight at-home rapid tests per month per insured person. 

MORE: Insurers must now reimburse for at-home COVID tests

The Biden administration also said it will begin making 400 million N95 masks available for Americans. The masks will be available for pickup at pharmacies and community health centers across the country. They will begin shipping this week for distribution starting late next week, the White House said.

RELATED: Here's how to get free N95 masks from the government, starting next week

When will the tests arrive? 

An order confirmation message on the website states that tests "will start shipping in late January."  The White House says tests will usually ship within 7 to 12 days of ordering, and can be saved for when someone in your household is exposed to COVID or starts to feel sick.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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