State, FEMA to open COVID testing drive-thru in Delaware City

Betsy Price Headlines, Health

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This was a mass vaccination event at the Delaware City DMV last year; starting Monday, FEMA will be doing mass testing events there on evenings and weekends for three weeks.

 

Update: The week’s COVID-19 wrap-up numbers have been added to this article.

A drive-thru COVID-19 testing site will open Monday at the Delaware City Division of Motor Vehicles complex and will operate evenings and weekends, excepts for Wednesday nights, through Feb. 7.

The announcement Friday follows several weeks of record numbers of people seeking testing, leading to venues running out of tests and also having to close because their own employees either had COVID or had been exposed to it.

The highest demand has been highest in New Castle County. The state said that 23,000 tests were given the week prior to Thanksgiving, and 61,000 tests last week.

“The demand for testing is at an all-time high and our resources are strained. Having this site will serve as a relief valve for our testing partners, particularly in New Castle County,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Public Health. “We appreciate the assistance from our federal partners and the testing staff coming to provide Delawareans with another testing option for the next several weeks to help get us through this surge.”

As the state moved to start drive-thru testing at the Delaware City DMV, it also said in its Friday COVID-19 wrapup that cases, hospitalizations and deaths were continuing to rise week from week.

Delaware recorded 4,771 new cases on Jan. 7, a new record. Since then, daily new case numbers have been lower.

The Friday wrap-up said:

  • The 7-day average of new positive cases was 3,153.1, up from 2,738.4 last week.
  • The 7-day average for the percentage of total positive tests was 32%, up from 28.3% last week
  • As of Thursday evening, 729 were hospitalized with COVID-19, up from 37 from last week. Of those, 69 were critically ill, an increase of 6 from last week 
  • There have been 2,396 deaths related to COVID-19, including 66 in the last week. Twenty of those came from a review of vital statistics records.
  • Percent of Delawareans who are fully vaccinated is 65%
  • The percentage of Delawareans 5+ who received at least one dose is 82.9%
  • The percentage of Delawareans 12+ who have received at least one dose is 88.2% 
  • The percentage of Delawareans 18+ who received at least one dose: 90.2%
  • Total breakthrough cases are 14,801, or 2.5% of fully vaccinated individuals. Of those 179 have been hospitalized and 155 have died.
  • 93% of new cases are Omicron, according to state lab tests.
  • The percentage of those hospitalized because of COVID is now close to 50-50 between fully vaccinated people and those who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated. Four weeks ago, that number was 72% of new cases were unvaccinated/partially vaccinated. On Friday, the number was 53%.

Testing at the DMV site can’t take place on Wednesdays because the DMV is open late that night for people with business there.

FEMA has contracted with eTrueNorth to offer testing. Individuals will be tested with a PCR shallow nasal swab and results are expected to be returned in 48-72 hours. Appointments will be required.

Tests are free.

Each person who needs a test must register at www.ineedacovid19test.com and obtain a voucher. If a family or group come together, each individual needs their own form, said Coral May, eTrueNorth CEO.

The Delaware City DMV is located at 2101 Mid County Drive, New Castle, Delaware.

For the first day of operations, Monday, Jan. 17,  appointments will be available between 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Following the first day of testing, these appointments will be available:

  • Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays: 5:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Sundays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To make an appointment, individuals must register on the eTrueNorth Covid-19 testing website. Each individual that will be tested must create an account.

After completing the initial screening questionnaire, users will schedule an appointment.

A confirmation voucher will be provided and should be brought to the testing site.

Registrants will use their username and password to access test results when they are available.

Those who have questions or need assistance with registering for an appointment, can email [email protected] or call 1-800-635-8611.

Those unable to access the site due to transportation or other barriers are encouraged to take advantage of other testing sites statewide or use at-home test options, which can be found at de.gov/gettested.

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