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Drive-through coronavirus testing, closures and what the Delaware State of Emergency means

What Delaware is doing to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

A CDC rendering of the coronavirus. (Screenshot via the CDC newsroom image library)

As of the afternoon of March’s Friday the 13th, most elementary and secondary schools in Delaware are still open, and there are no driving or work restrictions, but the state is taking proactive action to prevent the spread of the coronaviris (or COVID-19), which on this date has four presumptive positive cases in New Castle County.

ChristianaCare followed the lead of New York, Washington, Colorado and Connecticut by offering free drive-through coronavirus testing for people who have symptoms (including fever, cough and shortness of breath) on today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Christiana Hospital. The health system tested drive through emergency medical care in October, when they offered drive through flu vaccinations to members of its staff as part of a one-day, organization-wide vaccination drive that doubled as an emergency drill in case of an outbreak.

If you missed the drive-through testing and have symptoms, call the Division of Public Health’s coronavirus information line at 1-866-408-1899/1-866-408-1899 (TTY 1-800-232-5460) or email Commercial labs in Delaware are offering testing for people who are referred. Do not go to the emergency room for testing or if you have symptoms but are not having a medical emergency.

ChristianaCare has implemented heightened visitor restrictions, on top of its flu season restriction that requires hospital visitors to be 16 or older: Hospital patients, except for those in hospice or palliative care, may not have more than two visitors at a time, and older adults are asked to avoid visiting hospitals.

Gov. John Carney declared a State of Emergency on March 12, mobilizing state agency resources, including the Delaware National Guard, to assist with Delaware’s response to the virus.

The State of Emergency also:

  • Advises event organizers in Delaware to cancel non-essential public gatherings of 100 people or more, to prevent community spread of coronavirus;
  • Allows the State of Delaware to conduct public meetings electronically to prevent unnecessary public gatherings;
  • Prohibits price gouging, or an excessive price increase of goods or services, during the coronavirus outbreak.

The declaration does not, at this point, require closing elementary and secondary schools — though Kuumba Academy and Great Oaks Charter at the Community Education Building in Wilmington are currently closed pending testing of a staff member with plans to reopen March 16 — or state office buildings, and it imposes no driving restrictions. Workers in Delaware are advised to work from home if it’s an option.

Here are the current statuses for Delaware colleges and universities:

The University of Delaware, which all four presumptive positive cases are connected to, suspended classes for two days and accelerated spring break until March 23, when it will hold classes online. The university, including residence halls remain open.

Delaware State University is currently on spring break and is advising students to stay off campus until April 5. Courses, including Early College High School, will be held online until at least April 5. Students are asked to leave the residence halls over spring break if possible.

Wilmington University remains open, but will be moving all in-person classes to online classes starting March 16.

Delaware Technical Community College is implementing an extended spring break, with classes resuming on March 22, and has canceled its 2020 STEM Expo.

Goldey Beacom College remains open, but is closing its residence hall as of March 16, and is rescheduling classes.

Delaware College of Art and Design is implementing an extended spring break, with classes resuming on March 30. Students must leave the residence halls over spring break unless a petition to remain is granted.

Wesley College remains open, but will be moving all classes to online classes starting March 16. Residences remain open, though students are encouraged to move home if possible.

Widener University Delaware Law School has suspended classes, resuming all classes online on March 19. Its residence hall will close on March 15, and its law library will close until further notice on March 16.

With the guideline that public gatherings of more than 100 people be canceled, any large event scheduled over the next month is almost definitely not happening. Check the status of all events, even those with fewer than 100 people, before going.

Companies: State of Delaware
Series: Coronavirus

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