Mass COVID testing site planned for Delaware City


WILMINGTON — A mass COVID-19 testing site will be coming to Delaware in the coming weeks with help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The state is planning to house the drive-thru site at the Delaware City Division of Motor Vehicles. A.J. Schall, director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, said the location will be active for two or three weeks, depending on demand, and will be open every day except Wednesdays.

Delaware has experienced record requests for testing during a post-holiday surge of the virus, and several sites have been forced to close periodically due to staff testing positive for COVID-19.

The state processed 61,128 COVID-19 tests the week of Jan. 1-7, which was up from 52,305 the previous week.

The DMV site could expand the state’s testing capacity by about 10,000-15,000 tests per week, Mr. Schall said.

“It will help release some of that stress and bring some additional individuals to do testing in our state,” he said.

The site will open in the late afternoons and stay open for several hours. Details could be finalized in the next five days, according to Mr. Schall.

“We expect it to be at night and on the weekends, so folks can stop by on their way home from work,” Gov. John Carney added.

Delaware already used its DMVs as mass vaccination sites during the first phase of its vaccine-distribution plan last year.

A list of testing sites is available here and here.

Delawareans should not go to emergency rooms for a COVID-19 test, Mr. Schall said, to help alleviate some of the ongoing strain on hospitals.

“We don’t want individuals that are getting tested because of no symptoms or surveillance or employment or some other reason to go to the emergency departments,” Mr. Schall said. “We know that’s a stress right now that the hospitals are unable to accommodate.”