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The Biden administration is purchasing 1 billion rapid COVID-19 tests, and the first 500 million are now available to U.S. households for free online at COVIDtests.gov.

The Biden administration is purchasing 1 billion rapid COVID-19 tests, and the first 500 million are now available to U.S. households for free online at COVIDtests.gov. (covidtests.gov)

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan – Military and diplomatic personnel stationed overseas are eligible for free, at-home COVID-19 testing kits the Biden administration began offering every U.S. household on Wednesday.

The administration is purchasing 1 billion of the rapid tests, and the first 500 million are now available for free online at COVIDtests.gov. Every home in the United States can order a set of four free tests that usually ships within seven to 12 days, according to the website.

Households with a registered APO, FPO or DPO overseas address are also eligible. However, sporadic reports surfaced Wednesday of problems ordering the kits using an overseas internet connection. Those issues appeared to be resolved by Friday.

After the website launched on Wednesday, Stars and Stripes reporters attempted to order tests for APO and FPO addresses at Yokota Air Base and Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan. However, the website returned an error message while attempting to connect to the order page.

The Yokosuka order went through, however, using a virtual private network, or VPN, to connect to the website.

On Friday, Stars and Stripes staff members ordered tests for households at Yokota and Yokosuka without using a VPN or experiencing any other issue.

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Alex Wilson covers the U.S. Navy and other services from Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. Originally from Knoxville, Tenn., he holds a journalism degree from the University of North Florida. He previously covered crime and the military in Key West, Fla., and business in Jacksonville, Fla.
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