State updates guidance for unvaccinated people

Weekly testing recommended
August 3, 2021

Delaware updated its guidance Aug. 3 for people who remain unvaccinated, recommending weekly testing.

In addition to weekly testing, Gov. John Carney, the Delaware Division of Public Health, and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency recommend that unvaccinated people get tested five to seven days after COVID exposure, and that they isolate at home immediately if exposed to COVID or develop symptoms of it.

“While vaccination is the best way to put an end to this pandemic, routine COVID-19 testing remains key for those who have not yet taken that step, or who are unable to be vaccinated,” Carney said. “Our cases are increasing, and we need to do all we can to catch any potential surges as early as possible so we can do contact tracing and stop the spread of the virus immediately.”

COVID-19 cases have been steadily climbing in Delaware during July. New case counts of over 100 per day have been reported for the last five days. 

Officials say COVID-19 vaccines are effective against severe disease and death from variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 currently circulating in the U.S., including the Delta variant. Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, officials say, even with the Delta variant. When these infections occur among vaccinated people, they tend to be mild. With COVID-19 cases increasing in the state and nation, and the majority of cases occurring among unvaccinated individuals, all Delawareans 12 years old and older are urged to get vaccinated if they have not already received their COVID-19 vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends fully vaccinated persons get tested 3-5 days after being exposed to someone with COVID, and that anyone with symptoms should get tested. Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine after exposure.

“With COVID-19 cases climbing again daily, it is very important that you get tested weekly if you are not vaccinated in order to identify and stop the spread of COVID,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “This will also help us identify infection among people with no symptoms and allow them to take steps to ensure they are not unknowingly spreading the disease to people who may be more likely to get incredibly sick from the virus.”

Delawareans continue to have a variety of testing options. A full list of testing locations and options can be found at

Fixed testing locations

Testing is available as part of the state’s program at several Walgreens locations. Walgreens will be retiring testing at some of its stores with lower volume and refocusing efforts in areas of high social vulnerability. In addition, 30 Walgreens, Rite-Aid and Health Mart pharmacies statewide will offer testing through a new federal program which is focused on areas of high social vulnerability. Testing at the state-run sites and federal program sites is free of charge. Other pharmacies and medical provider sites offer testing but may charge; contacting the site for details is advised. 

DPH also announced that it will begin offering testing at its static vaccination sites starting Wednesday, Aug. 4. The locations include Georgetown Plaza Shopping Center, 19 Georgetown Plaza, Georgetown, with hours from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 to 4 p.m., Monday and Wednesday; and 11 a.m to 7 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday.

DPH and DEMA continue their partnership with Curative to offer free COVID-19 testing at both static locations and rotating sites statewide. Visit for locations.

Currently, at-home testing is offered free of charge through a partnership with Vault, as well as a new partnership with LabCorp which supports testing for symptomatic or high-risk individuals.

Libraries offer rapid test kits

DPH announced Aug. 3 a new partnership with Delaware Libraries allowing Delawareans to visit most library locations and pick up a take-home rapid test kit to have in case they or a family member needs it. Library cards are not required to pick up a take-home test kit. Officials ask anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to visit one of the other fixed or community testing locations, not come to the library.

All schools and early learning facilities throughout the state can now take advantage of free rapid antigen testing for staff and students. DPH and Delaware Department of Education recently announced this opportunity through a contract with Quidel Corporation. Quidel provides staffing for testing, analysis and reporting, relieving schools of the burden. Routine screening testing is a key strategy recommended by the CDC and re-enforced in its recent guidance for schools and child care facilities. More information about this program and how schools can sign up is available here.

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