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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 may ramp up effort to bus vaccine to the vulnerable

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The state looks to use part of its public transit fleet to deliver vaccine to people’s homes.

Delaware tested a program involving DART’s paratransit busses earlier this month.

The busses take COVID vaccine to the homes of people who want it but are unable to make it to a distribution event.

The pilot run March 5th delivered and administered 120 doses of vaccine to people over the age of 65 registered with DART’s paratransit service in western Sussex County. 

The idea came from Cory Nourie -  Director of Community Services for the state Division of Developmental Disabilities Services. She says it clearly meets a need.

“There are people who literally were homebound, bedbound, who literally could not get out of their home who now are vaccinated. So clearly there is an important benefit to being able to offer this service.” 

DART paratransit busses have been underutilized over the past year with the pandemic, and Nourie says one bus can deliver about 20 vaccines in a day.

The program is a partnership between DART and Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services. Nourie says a go-ahead from DHSS Secretary Molly Magarik would expand the program to Kent and New Castle Counties.

“We have contracts in place with nursing agencies. Paratransit is ready to continue reaching out to people to get them scheduled,” said Nourie. “It’s just a matter of us getting the go-ahead that ‘yes we’re going to continue in this effort.’”