Delaware expands free COVID-19 testing access

Coronavirus testing
Photo credit Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images
WILMINGTON, Del. (KYW Newsradio) — For most of the summer, Delaware health officials have reported a low volume of patients getting tested for the coronavirus at mobile testing sites statewide.

But as of this week, those sites will become fixed locations, which officials hope will increase testing. 

A.J. Schall, director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, said the state will deploy some of its National Guard resources used at the drive-thru sites and service centers to “have a more comprehensive 8-to-4-type model to get tested.”

In addition to service centers, some Walgreens stores and public health clinics will become permanent locations for free testing. There are 19 static sites in all. 

“With either five-day or seven-day-a-week access,” said Schall. 

Not only do these sites allow for more flexible hours of operation, but they can also accommodate more people. The goal is for more people to get tested. The results will be returned within 72 hours. 

“We’re also going to be expanding the at-home (testing) option that we use for the school’s faculty and staff to populations of the general public,” added Schall. 

As many as 1,000 people a day can now get tested at home

“They could go online, register, request a test kit be sent to their house,” he continued. “They do the kit on Zoom with one of the medical providers, drop it off in a UPS box, and get the results in about 24 to 48 hours.”

Testing will still continue at Delaware hospitals, private labs and some urgent care centers.

“Delaware has one of the most effective COVID-19 testing programs in the country,” noted Gov. John Carney, “and these updates to our statewide plan will make testing even more accessible for all Delawareans.

“The fact is, testing for COVID-19 is the best way to track the spread of this virus across our state and country. It’s also the way we contain potential outbreaks.”