Del. Updates COVID-19 Testing Program

Pharmacies, urgent care centers and even home testing kits are growing parts of Delaware’s COVID-19 testing program.

Delaware Public Health is announcing a pilot program with Walgreens to make drive-through coronavirus testing available, initially at one store in each county.

Testing is available starting Thursday at Walgreens on Commercial Center Drive in Bridgeville, and on South State Street in Dover. It is a drive-up test.

DPH says it will look to enlist more pharmacies to take part in the effort to test more Delawareans, regardless of their insurance or whether they show any coronavirus symptoms.

Delaware Public Health released more information in a news release, parts of which are contained below…

Delaware’s updated COVID-19 testing plan balances the need for:

  • Predictability: providing members of the community with easy access and consistent messages about where to get tested to help with early detection;
  • Flexibility: the ability to be responsive to outbreaks and urgent needs; and
  • Sustainability: using resources wisely given the projected duration of this pandemic.

From the health care systems to primary care practices and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), a range of partner organizations play a key role in the state’s COVID-19 testing strategy. Some testing services provide testing to individuals who are symptomatic or asymptomatic on a routine basis; other resources provide dedicated testing resources in response to community-based outbreaks. The Delaware testing strategy continues to evolve to one where all Delawareans have convenient access to testing when and where they need it. This includes an increased role for non-traditional venues such as pharmacies as well as urgent care centers, and even home testing kits, which are now more widely available.

The Division of Public Health also announced today a partnership with Walgreens to provide COVID-19 testing to residents, piloting the initiative at one location in each county starting Thursday, July 16. Participating locations include:

  • New Castle County – Walgreens, 700 S. Ridge Ave., Middletown, DE 19709
  • Kent County – Walgreens, 1215 S. State St., Dover, DE 19901
  • Sussex County – Walgreens, 9202 Commercial Centre Drive, Bridgeville, DE 19933

Drive-thru pharmacy testing through this program will be available 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., seven days a week, and will be open to anyone who wishes to be tested, regardless of symptoms or insurance coverage. No appointment is required; however, individuals should be advised that initial wait times may vary depending on volume of traffic at a site. Walk-up testing will also be available on site at the external drive-thru location. Customers should not come into the pharmacy for COVID-19 testing. The tests administered through this program will consist of self-administered nasal swabs, where the patient swabs the inside front of their nose. The specimen samples will be processed through the Delaware Public Health Laboratory.

“The opening of these new COVID-19 testing sites are part of Walgreens’ ongoing commitment to provide greater access to testing in the communities we serve,” said James Satterfield, Walgreens regional healthcare director. “Walgreens has a long history of stepping up to support our customers and communities in times of need, and we’re pleased to be working in collaboration with the state of Delaware on this effort.”

DPH will work with Walgreens over the coming weeks to add additional pharmacy locations to the list of testing sites, and is in discussion with other pharmacy chains to participate in the same effort. DPH is also working with a company to automate registration and reporting of results from these tests.