Walgreens testing reaches 500-600 a day, DPH says

DOVER — Nearly a month into its partnership with Walgreens for COVID-19 testing, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) said Walgreens testing sites represent between 500-600 tests per day.

There are currently three pilot locations for the DPH’s partnership with Walgreens, including one in each county with locations in Middletown, Dover and Bridgeville in an effort to expand Delaware’s COVID-19 testing. The program was announced on July 15, providing drive-thru pharmacy testing available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week and open to anyone who wishes to be tested, regardless of symptoms or insurance coverage.

Results from the Walgreens testing sites are currently expected to be returned to the tester within five days, according to DPH spokeswoman Jennifer Brestel. The results of oral fluid-based drive-in testing sites set up by the DPH and Curative Inc. are typically expected within three days.

Ms. Brestel added county or location of testing has not had consistent impact on testing turnaround.

Ms. Brestel said with some other states reporting a longer wait for results compared to earlier in the summer, DPH has not seen many delays as the state has increased its testing.

“While we can’t speak specifically for commercial labs, it does seem that some large commercial labs have seen some slowing of turnaround time due to demand,” Ms. Brestel said. “The Delaware Public Health Lab and Curative processing have remained consistent, though.”

Results for testing at the three Walgreens pilot sites are processed by the Delaware Public Health Lab and patients are notified via phone call by the DPH call center. Ms. Brestel said DPH is looking forward to an IT solution that offers delivery via email and text message for these results.

The Curative testing sites deliver results by text message and email. Hospital and community practictioners meanwhile have their own system or utilize a commercial lab’s notification service.

The Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) receives records as well and is an additional option for viewing results through their secure patient portal — Health Check Connect. Ms. Brestler said, however, not all commercial labs report to DHIN.

The Walgreens pilot sites and Curative drive-thru sites do not require proof of residency, allowing any out-of-state person to be tested in Delaware if they wish.

Ms. Brestel said DPH is not able to accurately quantify the number of out-of-state residents who are tested in Delaware because labs report those results to the respective state of residence. DPH only receives test results for Delawareans.

The case data on DPH’s My Healthy Community data portal (de.gov/healthycommunity) represents Delaware residents only except for hospitalization data, which includes anyone currently hospitalized in a Delaware hospital, regardless of their place of residence. That information is provided directly by the hospitals.

Information on results and contact tracing between states is shared “through established reciprocal reporting mechanisms that exist, including fax and a secure information exchange platform,” Ms. Brestel said.

Those interested in information about testing events, including community testing sites and free-standing sites operated by the health care systems and hospitals, can visit the testing section of the Delaware coronavirus website at coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing/.

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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