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3 Walgreens to start COVID-19 testing Thursday

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Three Delaware Walgreens drug stores will begin drive-thru coronavirus testing Thursday, the state Division of Public Health announced Wednesday.

Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the division, said Tuesday during Gov. John Carney’s weekly coronavirus press conference that the state would announce additions to its testing program this week.

One Walgreens in each county is set up for the testing. That includes:

— New Castle County: 700 S. Ridge Ave., Middletown DE 19709

— Kent County, 1215 S. State Street, Dover DE 19901

— Sussex County, 9202 Commercial Centre Drive, Bridgeville DE 19933

 

The Division of Public Health is working with Walgreens to expand testing to more sites, and it’s also talking to other pharmacy chains about offering sites at their stores.

The state wants all Delawareans to be tested for viruses, partly as a means for tracking it and partly to ferret out any cases and deal with them quickly before they spark an outbreak.

“Testing, and knowing your COVID status, is a key mitigation strategy in battling this pandemic,” Rattay said in the press release.

 

The drug store announcement coincided with an update to the state’s plan to ensure all Delawareans have access to safe and efficient COVID-19 testing when and where they want it.

The update focuses on vulnerable populations, including elderly Delawareans, members of low-income and minority communities, and certain front-line essential workers.

“The basis for our plan is to show that testing options for Delawareans have expanded greatly from when this pandemic first began,” Rattay said.

Then, tests were only performed for people who were showing symptoms.

This state map shows where COVID-19 testing already is being done.
This state map shows where COVID-19 testing already is being done.

Delaware’s updated COVID-19 testing plan has three prongs, including helping residents find easy access to testing locations where and when they need it for early detection.

Testing is now available through state-sponsored testing sites in all three counties; health care systems; primary care practices, urgent care centers, Federally Qualified Health Centers and more.

Adding pharmacies to the list of testing sites makes it more available, state officials have said.

The drive-thru testing at Walgreens will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 pm. every day. Anyone who wishes to be tested can be, regardless of symptoms or insurance coverage.

 

The tests will use self-administered nasal swabs, which require the patient to swab the inside front of his or her own nose. The samples will be processed through the Delaware Public Health Laboratory.

No appointment is required, but walk-ups may have to wait depending on the volume of traffic at the site.

Customers should not come into the pharmacy for COVID-19 testing.

“Walgreens has a long history of stepping up to support our customers and communities in times of need,” said James Satterfield, Walgreens regional healthcare director in a press release, “and we’re pleased to be working in collaboration with the state of Delaware on this effort.”

 

The Division of Public Health also is working with a company to automate registration and reporting of results from these tests, the press release said.

To find out more or schedule your own test, go to de.gov/gettested.

The webpage was also updated Tuesday to make testing information easier to locate and navigate, Rattay said.

From March 11 through Tuesday, July 14,, DPH has identified a total of 12,969 positive cases of COVID-19 among Delaware residents, and a total of 518 individuals have died from complications related to COVID-19. In addition, 48 individuals are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Delaware, 10 of whom are critically ill.

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