After months of offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites at schools and other locations around the state, the Delaware Division of Public Health is moving to a new model of permanent testing sites.
“We are committed to providing easy access to testing for all,” A.J. Schall, director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, said. “This move provides consistent sites across the state, expanded hours, and an in-home option to make sure everyone has access to testing.”
Of the 19 sites in Delaware, only one is in the Newark area – the Hudson State Service Center at 501 Ogletown Road, between Wawa and the U.S. Post Office.
It will be open for testing Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Those interested must call 302-283-7587 (select option 2) to make an appointment. Walk-ins are not permitted and, unlike at many of the other testing sites, appointments cannot be made online.
All testing is free of charge, with results expected in 48 to 72 hours. Types of tests vary by location but include saliva-based tests and swabs that swab just inside the nostrils. No prescription is needed.
“Delaware has one of the most effective COVID-19 testing programs in the country, and these updates to our statewide plan will make testing even more accessible for all Delawareans,” Gov. John Carney said. “The fact is, testing for COVID-19 is the best way to track the spread of this virus across our state and country. It’s also the way we contain potential outbreaks.”
Last week, Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health, specifically recommended that Newark residents consider getting tested because of the city’s increasing number of coronavirus cases, due mostly to University of Delaware students.
“We continue to see community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 throughout the state. That is why it is so important that consistent, stable testing availability continues to be available to Delawareans when and where they need it, regardless of symptoms or insurance,” Rattay said. “We will continue to encourage testing for individuals, especially those who have come in close contact with a positive case and those with frequent or high-risk contact with others.”
For those who don’t want to visit a testing center, the state is also offering an at-home option by mail.
The at-home test utilizes saliva collection, which has the same effectiveness as the oral swab test, officials said. This test is performed under the supervision of a healthcare provider through a video telehealth visit, eliminating the risk of person-to-person exposure to the virus.
After taking the sample, the patient mails the test back and receives results within 48 to 72 hours.
To request a testing kit, visit coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing/home-test-kit.