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Monday, May 17, 2021

New Castle County expands free self-administered COVID testing to asymptomatic people

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Christy Fleming
Christy Fleming
The managing editor of TownSquareDelaware.com, Christy Fleming also supports a variety of non-profit initiatives in Delaware. Her background includes positions in public relations, advertising and journalism.

This gentleman allowed us to photograph him taking the self-administered COVID-19 test at a drive-thru pop up Monday at Baltz Elementary School in Wilmington

You do not need to exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 to take advantage of free testing this week.

A second round of free COVID-19 testing sites kicks off today in New Castle County — for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. All this week testing sites will be available in Wilmington, New Castle, Middletown and Newark.

The tests, which were introduced to state public health officials by County Executive Matt Meyer, are self-administered oral swabs, provided by Curative.

 

To take the test, participants are first asked to cough four or five times into their mask or face covering. Then they remove the swab stick from its wrapper, rub the inside of their mouth, drop the swab into the tube, and drop off the package on their way out of the parking lot.

The whole process takes less than 10 minutes and even less if subjects are pre-registered. 

Typically, Curative test results would be available in 24 – 48 hours via email. However, officials at Monday’s drive-through said the Washington, D.C. lab affiliated with regional Curative testings is temporarily closed while the company expands its lab network. So the Delaware tests this week will be air shipped to a lab in California, and results may take 72 hours or more.

“Last week we had the Delaware National Guard driving the Delaware tests straight down to Washington, DC, the same day we concluded the tests. So that gave us really quick turnarounds,” said a spokesperson at today’s drive-through event.

New Castle County launched the new testing sites in partnership with Delaware and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), which is scheduling only a week or two out so that they can adjust locations and times as trends become apparent.

To pre-register, guests can visit https://delaware.curativeinc.com/welcome

Testing sites and their times in all three counties can all be found here. That page will be continually updated by DEMA.

The robust testing program will help reach Governor John Carney’s goal of testing 80,000 Delawareans per month for the novel coronavirus. Test locations were selected with input from a number of sources including doctors, epidemiologists, non-profits, faith-based and community leaders. 

After breaking off one end of the swab, the end with the saliva sample is placed in your own testing vial with a solution at the bottom. The individual then screws on the top, places the vial in a coded plastic bag and drops it in a large container with other testing samples.

“We received great feedback from the community on the operation so far,” County Executive Meyer said. “We have been able to collect more than 2,000 samples in just one week of testing, and we are looking forward to expanding our research to other areas of New Castle County to help defeat COVID-19.”

 

The initial list of the locations for upcoming testing sites is below and more will be added in the future. All testing sites operate from 10 am to 2 pm with the exception of Frawley Stadium, which is 2 to 6 pm.          

Wilmington University is canceled for Thu., 5/11 because of rain.        

Conrad School of Sciences                 201 Jackson Avenue, Wilmington                  Thu, 5.11

Wilmington Univ.                              320 N DuPont Highway, New Castle               Thu, 5.11

Redding Middle School                       201 New Street, Middletown                           Fri, 5.12

Frawley Stadium                                  801 Shipyard Drive, Wilmington                     Fri, 5. 12**

Shue Medill School                              1500 Capitol Trail, Newark                               Sat, 5.13

Wilmington Univ. Brandywine        10 Beaver Valley Road, Wilmington                 Sat, 5.13               

 

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