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30 Sunnyside Road, Smyrna, DE 19977
Phone (302) 802-5000 or CLICK TO CALL
Fax (302) 802-5001

Division of Public Health Laboratory

Built 1990
Hours: Business Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The Delaware Division of Public Health Laboratory (DPHL) is a vital component to the state's public health system. Our mission is to provide accurate and timely analytical data, information, and consultation to protect and enhance the health of the people of Delaware. Test results provided by DPHL determine the quality of drinking water, the presence and type of clinical disease, chemical contamination, and emerging infectious diseases. Testing includes, but is not limited to, clinical testing and surveillance of foodborne diseases, antimicrobial resistance, sexually transmitted infections, arboviruses, tickborne diseases, vaccine preventable diseases, Tuberculosis, Legionella, Rabies, and biothreat/emerging infectious diseases. For environmental screening of potable (drinking water) and non-potable water, DPHL tests a broad range of chemical and biological contaminants, including but not limited to, turbidity, pH, anions, Haloacetic acids, volatile organic compounds, trace metals, Legionella, and coliforms/E. coli. Beyond drinking water, DPHL has expanded environmental monitoring to include testing of wastewater for prospective surveillance of respiratory viruses (SARS-CoV-2, Influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus) and plans to expand testing to additional agents of public health concern.

A link to the Laboratory's main page can be found here: Delaware Public Health Laboratory main page

Outside of laboratory operations, DPHL also provides technical support, supervision, and daily courier service to DPH field laboratories and other health care facilities across Delaware. DPHL collaborates at the national level with federal partners, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure compliance with national standards, while also collaborating with state public health laboratories through a national network to ensure standardized public health laboratory surveillance practices. At the state level, we partner with local laboratories, health professionals, and educational institutions to identify health threats, alert health authorities and train laboratory staff and other health care providers.

  • In the months following the start of the Covid Pandemic, the Delaware Public Health Laboratory (DPHL) were the only laboratory in Delaware to provide clinical testing. At the height of the pandemic, DPHL were testing 2,000 clinical specimens/day. Laboratory Scientists were on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide rapid results - usually within 48 hours.
  • DPHL were able to pivot from COVID, including testing and detecting Mpox during the 2022 outbreak.
  • Have you ever had the flu? If so, did you know that DPHL provides your doctor test results to make sure that you get the best treatment possible! DPHL subtypes influenza virus to assist the World Health Organization with the formulation of the annual influenza vaccine.

The DPHL is the only laboratory in Delaware that can test for several public health diseases.

Rabies virus from animals that may have exposed humans through contact with rabid animals.

Emerging infectious diseases, such as Ebola, Zika, and Chikungunya, as well as biothreat agents that cause disease like Anthrax, Tularemia, Brucellosis, and the Plague.

Determine foodborne outbreaks and identify potential links to foods or other sources from outbreaks.

A full-service laboratory performing molecular identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of organisms that cause Tuberculosis.

Wastewater testing for prospective surveillance of respiratory viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, Influenza, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).

Directions: To DPH Lab
Parking: Parking is available for visitors in designated areas. If you are dropping off specimens to be tested, please follow the most up to date signs for the receiving area/loading dock.