Delaware COVID testing sites seeing increase in visits over last 10 days

WILMINGTON — COVID-19 community pop-up testing site visits increased by 40% in the last 10 days according to information provided by the state, a rise that has led to increased wait times and longer turnarounds for results.

State officials are encouraging patience and asking those looking to get tested to preregister when possible. The state also will be adding five additional Walgreens COVID-19 testing sites beginning Tuesday, Dec. 1.

All Walgreens sites will shift to registration only starting Friday. Delaware Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karryl Rattay said each Walgreens site can be expected to do about 45 tests per day once it begins operating via registration.

The state is averaging 6,866.3 tests a day over a rolling seven-day period, using data as of Saturday. It set a record for tests performed in a single day on Nov. 18 with 11,072, surpassing the 11,000 mark for the first time.

According to Delaware Emergency Management Agency Director A.J. Schall, the state broke that mark on Monday from just its Curative Inc. testing sites, which performed 13,439 tests.

“Late October, early November we were stressing to people we had capacity at the sites,” Mr. Schall said. “We didn’t think we were getting enough people to get tested. So people responded and I think it’s going into overdrive as we go into the holidays as well.”

“Lines have gotten longer, people have gotten frustrated so we really want to encourage patience and people to preregister,” Dr. Rattay said.

To register for a test at a Curative site, those interested can visit delaware.curativeinc.com. Mr. Schall they can take some walk-ups, recommending to get there early.

Mr. Schall added the busiest times for testing are between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

“We don’t want to turn people away but we will have to draw that line in the sand because we have to get those tests to the lab,” Mr. Schall said. “Be patient, register when you can. We understand most of the sites are full and we’ll try to accommodate walk-ups whenever possible.”

Last week, the average time from when tests were collected to when results were sent out took 20 hours. For tests from Friday onward, it has slowed down to about 28-30 hours, according to Mr. Schall.

Mr. Schall said the wait for results could increase more this week but hopes it stays under 40 hours.

“The only negative here is the response time to get tests back,” Mr. Schall said. “Curative is working with us very closely to make sure the turnaround time is as quick as possible.”

A full list of testing sites in the state can be found at de.gov/gettested.

To register for a Walgreens testing site, www.picktime.com/DECOVID19test. The new Walgreens sites opening Dec. 1 are:

• 4465 Summit Bridge Road, Middletown, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday

• 17248 S. DuPont Highway, Harrington, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sunday

• 2 College Park Lane, Georgetown, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday

• 38627 Benro Drive No 1, Delmar, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday

• 32979 Coastal Highway, Bethany Beach, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday

Dr. Rattay added the state is discussing more Walgreens sites that could be added in mid-December.

There have been 32,664 positive cases of COVID-19 in Delaware since March 11. The DPH announced 438 new positive cases of the virus in Tuesday’s report, reflecting data as of Monday at 6 p.m.

The DPH also announced five new COVID-19-related deaths, bringing the state’s total to 557. All five individuals had underlying health conditions, according to the DPH while one was a resident of a long-term care facility — the 429th COVID-19 fatality to occur in a long-term care center.

Of the five most recent deaths, three were from New Castle and two were from Kent County. New Castle County has experienced the most COVID-19-related deaths with 375, followed by Sussex County’s 257 and Kent County’s 125.

The five newly added deaths ranged in age from 74 to 104 years old.

Delaware’s number of individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 increased to 185, which is the highest total since May 27. Twenty-eight of those hospitalizations are considered critical.

The state’s seven-day rolling average of percentage of positive tests is still above the World Health Organization’s recommended mark of 5% at 5.7%. That figure is as of Saturday due to a two-day lag for presenting that data to account for the time delay between the date of the test and the date that DPH receives the test result.

The most recent percent-positive for tests is 6% for the tests performed on Saturday with 269 positives out of 4,517 tests performed.

With testing up, Gov, John Carney said the state will have spikes of days with a large amount of positive cases, reminding that it is best to look at the averages when sorting through the data to get the clearest picture of the current situation.

“You really have to look at the seven-day average on each criteria because we’re doing so much testing,” Gov. John Carney said. “We get big batches that come in on a given day so if you just look at the daily positives it could scare you a bit.”

Editor’s Note: The Thanksgiving Day edition of the Delaware State News will be printed early. Since it will not include the latest coronavirus numbers, please visit delawarestatenews.net for updates.


Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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