Delaware is not ending “pop up” coronavirus testing but is focusing on offering more options.
The options include a saliva-based home test that was first piloted on teachers returning to the classroom.
The home test is recommended for older Delawareans as well as college students or those who have problems going to test sites due to work or other obligations. The state has the right to make a yes or no decision on getting the test that are limited to residents of the First State.
Those to be tested receive a kit. The use of the popular Zoom video link via smartphone or computer is required in taking the test. The test is then returned.
A.J. Schall, director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, said eight to 10 pop up or “roadshow events” are planned. Testing events may be tied to areas that are seeing increases in positive tests.
Employers can click here for a list of testing sites and other information.
At Gov. John Carney’s Press conference, it was reported that some Wilmington area zip codes including the New Castle area, Elsmere, Bridgeville, Newark and Wilmington’s Trolley Square have seen increases in Covid-19 cases.
Schall also confirmed that the University of Delaware is now testing 1,000 students and staff a week. Delaware State University has a program of regular tests for students and received outside funding for its efforts.
Schall and Gov. John Carney had earlier announced that testing is shifting toward permanent locations that include state service centers and a handful of Walgreens drug stores.
Rite Aid also offers tests under a separate program, private labs and walk-in health care centers offer testing. In tests not directly offered by the state, individuals and employers should check with their insurance companies regarding coverage.
Despite more people returning to the workplace and some schools moving to hybrid (in-class and remote instruction) Delaware has seen its ranking in overall testing move from the top 15 to 20.
At the same time, the percentage of positive cases has moved from about 4.5 percent to more than 6.5 percent in the past few weeks. No spike was seen after Labor Day get-togethers.
Cases have been tied to smaller events and the return of university students. Results that are available seem to indicate that higher education students are testing out at a lower rate than the overall state average.
More people getting tests would help to lower that percentage of positive results and clear the way for more in-class instruction in public schools.