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Getting Answers: Will Postal Service Be Able To Keep Up With Demand Of COVID-19 Tests

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Having trouble finding a Covid-19 test? Well, the Biden Administration has officially made that easier by unveiling the website you can now use to order free at-home Covid-19 tests. Californians are rushing to get theirs but can the US Postal Service keep up with demand?

The holiday season might be over but USPS  will likely be busier than ever, tasked with delivering tests to everyone who wants one — but how long will it take?

The USPS website is live with at-home Covid-19 tests at your fingertips.

"All it required was my name and mailing address and an email," said Scott Cantrell of Sacramento. "It took like 45 seconds to complete."

Households can order a maximum of four tests, which Dawn Olson did right away.

"Now let's see how long it takes to get them," she said. "That's the magic question."

With more than 19,000 postal workers sick or quarantined from Covid-19, communities are facing mail delays because of the omicron variant.

So how will the Postal Service handle the demand? According to the American Postal Workers Union, more than 7,000 temporary workers have been hired and 43 centers have been set up to pack and ship tests. The Postmaster General says the agency is prepared to deliver.

"I sent the link to everybody I know," Olson said.

Olson, a hospital worker, said access to testing is crucial for peace of mind and her paycheck.

"If you don't have a test to show you're negative, you can lose work," she said. "I'm just going to remain hopeful."

We did reach out to the Postal Service to ask if they've seen any delays in deliveries in our area specifically and how they plan on mitigating local staffing shortages. We have not yet heard back.

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