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Gov. Carney says re-opening Delaware hinges on more COVID-19 testing

State of Delaware

Gov. John Carney says more testing is needed in Delaware before the state and its economy can open back up.


For now, Carney’s message remains “stay the course” on Delaware’s stay at home order and social distancing guidelines.

This comes after Carney announced plans Monday to coordinate with other states in the region on how to start reopening the economy. The state's forming that group with Delaware are New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

President Trump said Monday his "authority is total" in terms of when to allow non-essential businesses to reopen. Carney’s response is now is not the time to pick a fight with anyone.


“We’re going use the federal government to support us. We need that in the White House," said Carney. "But I have a better idea, Gov. Wolf has a better idea, Gov. Murphy, as to what’s happening on the ground in our states than the White House does. In fact, all the data that they make decisions on is based on what we give them.”     

Carney says his message to the White House is the need to ramp up testing. He adds Delaware does not have enough data. 


“So, if we could test a lot more people than we’d have a better idea of what the spread has been,” said Carney.    

State health officials say they would like to be able to test people more early on in their exposure to the novel coronavirus but the limiting factor is testing supplies. Carney says fulfilling this need could potentially allow for a "new phase" of testing as the state looks to reopen its economy.

“And so as we get into this new phase instead of shutting down everything to protect people, we will be testing and isolating people who have the virus,” said Carney.  

As of Monday, 2,016 Delawareans have been tested in the state lab, and 13,414 have been tested by hospitals.

Carney also annouced Tuesday that Delaware's representatives on the regional re-opening taskforce will be his Chief of Staff Sheila Grant, Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay and the President and CEO of the Delaware Prosperity Partnership Kurt Foreman.