WILMINGTON — Delaware continues to add more options to its COVID-19 testing plan, in an effort to increase the number of tests done.
The state announced an upcoming rollout of a trailer which will serve as a mobile testing site through its partnership with Curative. This trailer should be open for tests by the middle of next week, said A.J. Schall, Director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency.
“We’ll be able to run that into a neighborhood or community or location and do a five- or six-hour event,” Mr. Schall said at the state’s weekly COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday.
“People walk up, scan their bar code, do the swab themselves, give it to the representative and it gets shipped off to the lab. It’ll be one more tool we have that’s flexible. It’s quick for us to hook that trailer up, go somewhere and we have all the equipment and the staff needed to run it. We’ll expand that program as we identify where it needs to be and where it makes sense to go.”
The trailer will serve as another resource to allow the state to respond to COVID-19 outbreaks. All registration will be done in advance and participants will be able to check in using their smartphone with a provided bar code.
The trailer will add another testing option in Delaware, joining 19 fixed testing sites, eight to 10 pop-up sites a week, an at-home testing option and tests done at hospitals or an individual’s primary care physician.
Mr. Schall said the state was averaging close to 15,000 tests a week over the summer but dropped to around 10,000 and 11,000 a week at the end of August. This sparked a shift to 19 permanent sites split between the state’s partnership with Walgreens, Curative State Service Centers and public health clinics.
Mr. Schall said the preliminary numbers for tests done last week are around 14,000.
“We’re bringing tests to the people,” Gov. John Carney said. “We’ve been doing that for months and we’ll continue to do that to make sure we’re testing in every community in our state. We need participants. We’ve fallen off a little bit so we need to get the word out.”
Mr. Schall reported Tuesday the state has issued about 4,500 at-home testing kits, which have been available to the public for a little more than two weeks.
All that is required for the at-home test is an email address and either a smartphone or tablet to do the test with a medical professional over Zoom. The participant then mails the test to a lab and results are available in typically 48 hours.
Mr. Schall said the state has plenty of at-home tests available and encourages the public to take advantage of the resource.
“This is a great, convenient and easy way to make sure you can get tested,” Mr. Schall said. “If you’re planning vacation, if you’re seeing family, if you’ve gone to an event, if you just want to get tested once a month, this is an avenue you can do and know it’s something you can do every few weeks. You can do it on your schedule.”
Additionally, the state is eying to up its testing in school districts over the course of the next few weeks. Testing events will feature 13 on-site drive-thru events in different districts, which will also be open to the public.
For a full list of testing sites in Delaware, visit de.gov/gettested. As of Monday at 6 p.m., there have been a total of 285,488 tests done in Delaware, with 20,531 positive cases.
Mr. Schall also said anyone registering for a Curative site will experience a new layout on Curative’s website sometime in the next few days. Curative is updating their site to include a map view and what dates are available at the sites on the map. The user must click on a location before then doing their reservation the same way as it is now.
While Curative sites are listed on de.gov/gettested, registration can be done at delaware.curativeinc.com.
“We’ve had a great partnership with Curative since May,” Mr. Schall said. “I think a lot of people have seen the ease of the test and how quickly they get responses back. They continue to be a good partner and bring new automation, new initiatives and new products we can use.”