Delaware officials announced the state will be sending a portion of the 290,000 rapid novel coronavirus COVID-19 testing kits it received from the federal government to Nemours and other pediatric care providers to provide testing for more children and adolescents.
As children all risk greater exposure mingling in classrooms, Delaware officials made it imperative more testing become available for the First State's youth.
“Testing for COVID-19 is the best way to track the spread of this virus in our state and monitor for potential outbreaks,” said Governor John Carney. “This partnership with pediatricians in Delaware, who provide health care for families statewide, will make testing even more accessible for Delawareans where and when they need it. Our goals are consistent. We want to get more children learning in classrooms, and more Delawareans back on the job. But we can only do that if we do it safely."
So far, the state has received ore than 77,500 Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 point-of-care antigen tests from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The tests can determine the COVID-19 status of a patient in as little as 15 minutes, officials said.
"The tests are largely being distributed to outpatient clinical settings providing care to children and adolescents, especially those currently in child care and in-person learning environments," officials said in a release detailing the initiative.
The Delaware Division of Public Health recommends teachers, staff, and students all get tested at least once a month to identify and decrease the spread of COVID-19.
“We feel it is important to place these tests in medical settings where providers have the knowledge and experience to properly interpret the results,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “These tests offer yet another tool to help us quickly identify individuals who are at risk of carrying the virus that causes COVID-19, and immediately initiate critical contact tracing and case investigation efforts in order to reduce additional spread in the community.”
The state's partnership with Nemours will help get the tests distributed to participating partners of Delaware Children's Health Network.3,000 antigen tests have already been distributed.