Delaware, New Jersey, and Rhode Island announce coordination on COVID-19 testing guidance

Building on previous coordination among states, Delaware Gov. John Carney, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo announce that their states will be working together on asymptomatic COVID-19 testing.

The Governors released the following joint statement:

“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted our interconnectedness as states. It has also underscored the critical connection between the health of our people and the health of our economies. In order to support the health of both, our states have worked together to develop a common approach to testing among high-risk, high-priority populations even when they are asymptomatic.”

“As new cases increase in many of our states, and re-opening our economies is delayed or adjusted, the importance of early identification is especially clear, and the role of SARS-CoV-2 testing is central. While experts around the world recommend increased access to testing, there is not uniform federal guidance about funding or testing protocols, and the federal government identifies states as responsible for developing testing plans. While we will have individual state-driven approaches, we are announcing that our states are working together on asymptomatic COVID-19 testing guidance.”

“Together, we have identified priority populations for asymptomatic testing, outlined key strategies for testing in those populations and developed an approach to financing the benefits and necessity of testing. These populations include, but are not limited to, skilled nursing and assisted living populations, other congregate settings, immunocompromised individuals, workers with high exposure risk, people experiencing homelessness, and asymptomatic people with known exposure.”

“Our approach is science-based, follows the lead of other countries that have used testing to control the virus, and is designed to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and enable safe, sustainable re-opening of economies in the three states. Our work will be guided by six overarching principles:

  1. Prevent the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. 
  2. Inform infection control measures in high-risk settings. 
  3. Protect high-risk populations, especially those living and working in high-risk settings. 
  4. Provide predictability for all residents. 
  5. Allow flexibility to respond to urgent needs. 
  6. Ensure wise use of limited resources. 

These three states share goals for keeping our residents safe. In the absence of clear national guidance, and with a rapidly changing environment we have been developing testing strategies for asymptomatic populations separately. By sharing and aligning our approaches we will increase our likelihood of success in this critical work.”

“Since Day 1 of this crisis, we have been using the science to guide our public health response to COVID-19,” said Delaware Gov. John Carney. “Widely available testing is the best way to monitor spread of this virus, and address potential outbreaks. In the absence of a uniform testing strategy from the federal government, I am pleased to work with Governor Murphy and Governor Raimondo to assure we have an aligned strategy. I am confident that a strong and unified approach to COVID-19 testing will help to keep more of our residents safe and healthy, and our economies moving forward.”

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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