Ordering the new at-home COVID-19 tests that the Biden Administration is now offering is actually pretty easy.
Getting anything delivered on-time during the pandemic has been anything but.
"It is a complicated system to get products from a click to your door," said St. Thomas University Professor Kyle Goldschmidt, who teaches Operations and Supply Chain Management.
The tests now have to slog through a supply chain that Goldschmidt says is still pretty congested.
"The warehouse to the trucking to get to the warehouse to the post office and then back to the manufacturers and not only back to the manufacturers, but back to manufacturer's suppliers," said Goldschmidt.
He says there are also shortages of the testing strip, its swab and packaging.
Plus, there are fewer postal workers, some of whom are out sick, who are still expected to deliver the tests in seven to 12 days, according to the White House.
"If demand exceeds what they have in supply, I think you're going to see that number increase from seven to 12 to much greater numbers pretty quickly," said Goldschmidt.
University of Minnesota Professor of Supply Chain and Operations Rachna Shah is wary the administration will even get the half a billion tests that it promised.
"I don't see a problem getting them, the only big contingency here that I see is the procurement," said Shah. "I'm not sure how good that number is because we have not seen evidence of that."
There are only three manufacturers responsible for ramping up production.
The President says the kits won't all arrive at the same time and instead will be delivered in batches over months beginning with zip codes that have the highest rates of COVID cases and deaths.
Once you've ordered them, you can track the status of your COVID tests. There is an option for you to provide an email address to receive email notifications with shipping updates.
Once your order is shipped, you will receive an email with an estimated delivery date and a tracking number. You can track the status of your delivery on USPS.com.
All orders within the continental United States will be sent through First Class Package Service. Shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. Territories, and overseas military and diplomatic addresses (APO/FPO/DPO) will be sent through Priority Mail.
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