The Delaware Division of Public Health received a $67 million Epidemiology Laboratory Capacity grant from the Centers for Disease Control to help expand testing for COVID-19.
DPH said it plans to use the money to expand testing capacity, while also establishing their contact tracing system that has been mentioned multiple times by Governor John Carney as a key to reopening Delaware's economy.
The money will be used to hire staff at the public health lab, while also working to improve electronic data exchange.
“The enhanced funding from the CDC will allow us to expand community testing in Delaware and to rapidly build our contact tracing program, especially among vulnerable populations,” said Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, in a statement.
“As we test more widely, we will find more positive cases in our state and those individuals will need to be isolated. To slow the transmission of this highly contagious disease – one person infected with the virus can infect two to three more people – we need to move quickly to alert people who may have been exposed to someone who tested positive, and to advise them of their need to self-quarantine.”
Delaware typically received $1.5 million in ELC grants each year, but all states are receiving more money this year, with a 30-month time-frame to implement the funds.