Full speed ahead on testing

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Good afternoon,

As Delaware moves full speed ahead in testing for coronavirus, some are questioning the need for the saliva and swab procedures.

On Monday President Trump followed up on remarks at a Saturday rally that downplayed the value of testing. Skeptics, including a few government officials, are uncomfortable with testing OneSussex County Councilmanquestioned the need to test poultry workers during the height of the outbreak that centered on poultry plants.

It turned out that testing, cooperation by processors in adding safety measures, a team from the Centers for Disease Control, self-isolation, and the relatively young age of those testing positive led to the outbreak being far less serious than first feared.

Meanwhile, Delaware remains “all in” on testing, with the state, health care providers, and New Castle County all part of the effort.

As of the weekend, about nine and a half percent of Delaware’s population has been tested for COVID-19. The number of daily positives is staying below 100 but is trending upward.

TheCOVID Exit Strategy site recently moved the state from green to red, due to themodest growth in positivetests.The uptick has been apparent in figures from the past couple of days as hospitalizations continue to dwindle. Sadly, the fewer hospitalizations are partially due to the virus taking its fatal course among critically ill patients. The number of those patients has also dropped.

Health officials are now advising that everyone in Delaware to consider testing, given the fact that people with no symptoms can spread the virus and the need for “sentinels.”

Sentinels are people with no symptoms who may not fit the profile of those who test positive in terms of income levels, ethnicity, neighborhoods, partying habits, etc.In Delaware, the term has been used to describe chickens that are used to detect another disease with no vaccine, West Nile Virus. That disease is carried by mosquitoes.

All of this work is being done with the expectation that summer traditions will resume and scattered outbreaks will occur.

State health officials revealed on Saturday night that at least three cases coming from teens staying at a beach house and attending parties during senior week.

Parents were advised to get tests and one can assume that contact tracing efforts are underway. The fact that the state released the information (the rumor mill had been churning out similar reports) illustrates the difficulty of contact tracing in cases where people from a number of areas converge on the beach.

Enjoy your evening. This newsletter returns tomorrow. –Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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