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This page offers all of Delaware Public Media's ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting the First State. Check here regularly for the latest new and information.

Delaware continues to ramp up testing ahead of phase two, contact tracing planned for phase three

Delaware Public Media

Efforts continue to increase Delaware’s capacity for widespread coronavirus testing and contract tracing. 

Officials say the state is becoming “the major player” in testing compared to hospitals—which played the main role in getting testing for the virus off the ground in Delaware. 

Officials say the state alone is now testing about 2,000 Delawareans per day. The state has stated its goal of 80,000 tests per month.

But as Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay notes, more work is still needed to achieve the goal of universal testing at long-term care facilities.

“A lot of progress has been made on this front in the last few weeks,” said Rattay. “As you know we recommended universal testing in long term care in early May and the uptake wasn’t as great as we had hoped and some of the feedback was the cost.”  

Rattay says the state is footing the bill for now for testing at long-term care facilities. She adds she believes all facilities statewide have developed individual plans to achieve universal testing.

DPH reported Friday long-term care facility residents accounted for 1,026 of the state’s positive COVID-19 cases and 263 of its 414 deaths. It also notes 433 positive cases, and one death among workers at those facilities.

Delaware enters phase two of it reopening Monday. Gov. John Carney said Friday that ramping up contact tracing is a part of Delaware’s plan to enter a phase three.

“As you reopen again, that’s how you control,” said Carney. “You’re isolating individuals. You test them. You test more intensely and hopefully identify more immediately, and then isolate to prevent the spread.”  

More than 77,000 people have been tested for coronavirus in Delaware since March.

The state is currently running four testing sites statewide. There are about a dozen testing events at different locations scheduled this weekend. Some are run by hospitals. New Castle County has also been conducting free testing events for the past three weeks.