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Delaware Health Alert Network #423

March 20, 2020 6:25 pm

Health Alert


The purpose of this plan is to establish a seamless system to meet the COVID-19 testing needs of Delawareans. The plan should decrease barriers to testing and provide timely access irrespective of social and geographic circumstances.

Standing Health Facility Test Sites – Many of the health systems in Delaware have already established test sites that are operating multiple days per week. We would encourage all health systems to establish a site. These sites only test individuals who have been evaluated by a provider and have COVID-19 compatible symptoms. An order or prescription from a health care provider is required. A list of testing locations and will be provided to health care providers soon.

  • Symptomatic individuals who want or need a COVID-19 test and who have access to a health care provider should be evaluated by their provider, teleconsultation is preferred unless in person examination is warranted. If COVID-19 symptoms are present (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), the patient can be referred to a standing health facility test site.
  • Individuals who do not have access to a health care provider can call the DPH Call Center or the CCHS or Bayhealth Call Centers. Medical personnel attached to the Call Center will determine if the caller meets criteria for testing and provide the appropriate documentation that will give the caller access to testing at a standing health facility test site.
  • Testing criteria: Only individuals with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, including but not limited to cough, fever, or shortness of breath will be tested.
  • Prioritization:
    • Individuals who meet the following criteria are of the highest priority and can be tested at the DPHL. Other tests will be sent to commercial laboratories.
Hospitalized patients with signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) and no other explanation for symptoms (e.g., influenza or other respiratory pathogen for the purpose of infection control) Conservation of PPE and other supplies/infrastructure
Symptomatic staff in health care and other facilities serving high-risk populations Safe workforce for staff, patients, and other high-risk populations
Critically ill patients Timely results for management of care
Potential outbreaks in health care and residential facilities and other high-risk settings (e.g., dialysis centers, cancer centers, child care facilities, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, etc.) Timely identification and infection control within these settings

Due to the dynamic nature of information which continues to emerge about the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, this information is subject to change.


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Categories of Health Alert messages:

  • Health Alert: Conveys the highest level of importance; warrants immediate action or attention.
  • Health Advisory: Provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action.
  • Health Update: Provides updated information regarding an incident or situation; unlikely to require immediate action.
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