March 3, 2022
Note to Reporters: B-roll and images of the USPS’s work to package and ship COVID-19 test kits are available here.
The United States Postal Service announced today that it has delivered more than 270 million COVID-19 test kits to American households as part of President Biden’s plan to distribute free at-home tests to Americans for free. The Postal Service reported over 68 million test kit packages (with four tests per kit) have been shipped to American households across all states, Tribes and territories; each package contains four individual test kits. On average, it takes just 1.2 days for the Postal Service to deliver a test kit package once it has been received from the manufacturer, kitted and entered into the mailstream. On Tuesday, Feb. 22, the Postal Service delivered over 6 million COVID-19 test kit packages — the highest single day volume delivered since shipping began at the end of January.
“There are few assignments the Postal Service has received that better exemplify our public service mission than the request of the Biden Administration to deliver America’s COVID-19 test kits,” said Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy. “It is a major point of pride throughout our organization to have met our own performance expectations and those of the public. We are grateful for the strong collaboration of our partners across the federal government, including the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense. Thank you to our Postal Service employees, our union and management association partners for so effectively and efficiently delivering such strong performance across the board.”
COVID-19 Test Kit Delivery by the Numbers:
The Postal Service immediately pivoted from a successful 2021 peak holiday season to focus on the delivery of America’s COVID-19 test kits. Quick negotiations with the postal unions enabled the retention of many of the seasonal staff who were reassigned from their holiday roles, and new annex facilities acquired in the year prior were rapidly reconfigured to ensure workspace and storage capacity could handle the immediate influx of millions of test kits daily.
Strong interagency collaboration between the Postal Service, White House, Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense has been a key factor in the success of this mission. Coordinated efforts included test kit inventory flow management from manufacturers to USPS Surface Transportation Centers, and then onto 48 Postal processing facilities to pack, label and ship.
Test kit orders in the continental U.S. are sent through First Class Package Service, and by Priority Mail to Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. Territories and APO/FPO/DPO addresses.
Once an order is placed on the covidtests.gov website, the requestor receives an order confirmation email and additional status updates as the package is shipped. Requestors can track their package online and receive status updates via the Informed Delivery notification feature.
The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.