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Delaware may do nearly 200,000 COVID tests in December

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The state of Delaware continues to offer large numbers of pop-up testing sites.
The state of Delaware continues to offer large numbers of pop-up testing sites.

Delaware may come close to testing 200,000 people for COVID-19 in December, health officials said Tuesday.

As the state continues to worry about a Christmas and New Year’s surge of cases on top of the Thanksgiving surge, it will continue to have many pop-up testing sites.

Gov. John Carney said the percentage of people testing positive has been 23.4% over a seven-day average, with 8.5% of all tests being positive. That’s given the state 653.4 new cases per day, on average over the last seven days.

It represents a flattening out of cases from the Thanksgiving surge, but hospitalizations continue to rise, he said.

In total, 505,812 people have been tested in Delaware, with 966,871 total tests administered, nearly one for every person who lives in Delaware.

 

A.J. Schall Jr., director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, said the state performed 61,541 tests the week of Dec. 11 to Dec. 17 and 45,638 the week of Christmas, even without testing sites being open most of Thursday and all day Friday.

“So, we expect to see a rush after Christmas and we expect that tempo to stay with us through the first weeks in January,” he said.

Delaware will continue to offer pop-up, drive-through and more testing well into January, he said.

The state will continue to publicize the testing schedules and locations, but also has revamped its testing site, de.gov/gettested to make it easier for people to find testing sites around them.

“Just today we had to delay one of our sites and … we’re able to go to this site and modify the hours so this is kind of home base when you’re going to find out where can you get the information,” he said.

 

Between pop-up testing sites, the state’s health centers, Walgreens and home tests, the state wants to make it easy for people to find a test site near them, Schall said.

The state site now also highlights school testing and has a link from which to order the home test.

Here’s where to find testing in Delaware this week.

There will be no testing on Friday, which is New Year’s Day, Schall said.

 

Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health, said the virus remains widespread in Delaware.

“There’s no area of Delaware that’s untouched,” she said.

She cited Odessa, Townsend, Delaware City, Smyrna and Selbyville as areas with positive rates much higher than the state expected.

“Also, I want to mention Kent County, which as a county has the highest case rates, the highest percent positivity, the highest hospitalization rates and still the lowest testing ,” Rattay said. “So again we want to continue to encourage folks in Kent County to take advantage of the testing options that are available to you to check and see if you are COVID positive, especially if you have been exposed to other individuals.”


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