A pop-up COVID-19 testing site will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at the Second Ward Community Center located at 50 Ross St. in Delaware. The Delaware General Health District said in its testing guidance that anyone can get a test.
“Testing for COVID-19 is critical to helping stop the spread of this virus,” the DGHD states in its testing guidance literature. “It saves lives. When we’re able to test more individuals in a community, it allows us to quickly identify infected individuals, isolate them, and investigate and trace the contacts of those infected. And in that way, it helps us contain and decrease the spread of illness. Testing helps us go on the offense against this virus.”
The DGHD reports that under its guidelines “it doesn’t matter if you’ve been exposed, are at higher risk, or showing no symptoms, anyone can get a test,” but officials note not all testing sites may follow this guideline.
“Testing standards differ among medical providers and retail locations. Many retail pharmacy locations, doctor’s offices, and community health centers will screen an individual before they order or perform a test,” the DGHD said. “They may ask if you have symptoms or if you’re part of an at-risk population. It’s important to call ahead to ask about their screening procedures and standards, including minimum age for testing, insurance requirements, and physician’s order requirements.”
Friday’s site is a “pop-up” testing site, which is designed to focus on under-served areas, particularly minority communities or communities that have seen a recent increase in their infection rate, according to the health district.
“Anyone can go on the day assigned to a community and get tested,” the DGHD reported. “They do not need a doctor’s order ahead of time, and they do not need to show symptoms. Pop-up testing locations are one of the most convenient ways to get tested. You can walk up, drive up, or in some cases park your car and get tested. Because some of these sites have experienced high demand for testing, we encourage you to make an appointment if that option is available. Appointments are not required.”
Friday’s testing will be done via a drive-thru setup with an option for walkups if individuals live in the community or don’t have transportation. Adults over 17 will receive a nasopharngeal swab and children between the ages of 1-17 will receive an anterior nasal swab. No one under the age of 1 will be tested, the DGHD noted.
Traci Whittaker, public information officer for the DGHD, said that individuals coming for a test should wear a face covering to comply with Gov. Mike DeWine’s order. Whittaker added that participants will have to complete a specimen submission form and are encouraged to bring a pen and hard surface to write on.
The testing will be provided at no out-of-pocket costs, but the health district reports the state does bill Medicaid or insurance if a person has either type of coverage. The state or federal government will cover the costs for those who are uninsured.
Whittaker said results will be made available to those being tested within three to seven business days.
“Whether your test result is positive or negative, you will receive a phone call from the health district to inform you of the results,” Whittaker said. “If the health district cannot reach you by phone, you will receive a letter in the mail with test results.”
The health district reported that each individual’s doctor will receive the test results, and if there is a positive result, it will be reported to the state and local health departments.
The DGHD recommends self-isolating at home while waiting for results, and if those living with others should isolate in a private room, use a private bathroom, and wear a mask when around others.
If a person tests negative but was in close contact of a confirmed case, the health district recommends that person continues to isolate until 14 days after exposure. Individuals who tested negative, had no contact with a confirmed case, and have no symptoms, they can stop isolating. The health district recommends that those who test negative but do have symptoms and were not in close contact with a confirmed case, they should avoid other people until “three days after the last day of your respiratory symptoms and fever.”
If an individual tests positive, the health district recommends that person contact his or her medical provider, and that individual will be contacted by the health district to determine any contact he or she may have had with others.
“A contact tracer also may reach out to you to ask about other people who you’ve spent time with,” the health district reports. “This person’s role is strictly to map the virus and will only ask questions about recent contacts to help identify the virus’ path.”
For individuals who don’t test positive but have been in contact with a person who has, the health district recommends these individuals stay safely at home and monitor for symptoms.
More information can be found at delawarehealth.org/.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.