With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rising, state officials are once again encouraging residents to get tested for COVID-19 and tests are once again hard to come by.
The major pharmacies such as Walgreens and Rite Aid aren’t showing testing availability until next week.
The state’s positive tests and hospitalizations have returned to levels unseen since January. With almost every room filled and emergency departments crowded, Delaware’s hospital leaders have warned “access to health care is being seriously threatened.”
And there’s concern the case numbers may not be a good reflection of “what we’re actually seeing in the community,” Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay previously told Delaware Online/The News Journal.
A greater percentage of tests taken in Delaware are returning positive than at any point since the early days of the pandemic when testing capabilities were very limited.
According to state guidelines, people with COVID-19 symptoms, including those who are fully vaccinated, should get tested. The state also recommends people get tested if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status. They should get tested five to seven days after the exposure.
The state says unvaccinated people should get tested once a week, even if they have not come in contact with someone who tested positive and do not have symptoms.
Unvaccinated people should isolate at home as they wait for test results, according to the state. Fully vaccinated people do not need to isolate, but should wear a mask in public indoor settings for two weeks.
Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Delaware
The state’s website allows residents to search for testing sites. The tool combines permanent testing sites at state service centers and Walgreens and Rite Aid pharmacies, semi-permanent testing sites operated by health care systems and pop-up sites run by Curative. Some testing sites require appointments.
State service centers are typically open weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Walgreens locations offer appointments weekdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with a 30-minute mid-day break. Rite Aid locations typically offer appointments from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends.
Most of the state’s testing sites will be closed on and around Christmas. A full list of holiday closures can be found at coronavirus.delaware.gov/holiday-recommendations/#testinginfo.
All fixed and pop-up testing locations can be found at coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing-events. Walgreens and Rite Aid testing locations can also be found at walgreens.com/covid/testing and riteaid.com/pharmacy/services/covid-19-testing. CVS also offers tests at cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing.
Delaware residents can request an at-home testing kit from Vault through the state’s website at coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing/home-test-kit. The kit requires users to administer their own oral swab test with a Vault health care provider assisting via video call.
At-home testing kits are also available from Labcorp through the state at pixel.labcorp.com/state-de.