ChristianaCare offers free drive-through coronavirus testing in Wilmington

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Friday, March 13, 2020
Action News coverage of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Concerned residents showed up by the hundreds in Wilmington, Delaware. Cars were lined up for blocks with passengers anxious to be tested for the coronavirus.

"What we are not seeing are people who are dramatic and freaking out in the car...what they are saying is we know it's in the community," said Terri Corbo with ChristianaCare.

ChristianaCare, along with the Health Department, offered a free drive-through clinic. People drove up and got a quick nasal swab that is sent off to a lab for testing. The hope is to reduce the spread of the virus and take some of the demands off of local emergency rooms.

"We have the ability to screen 1,000 patients. We are going to be very specific in who we screen" said Joan Pirrung with ChristianaCare.

Many showed up, but healthcare workers say the free testing was only for individuals that were exhibiting symptoms consistent with coronavirus.

"Such as fever, chills, cough, sore throat, or difficulty breathing. We are not offering the service today to those who don't have symptoms because the testing hasn't been validated on those who aren't and therefore the results will not be as reliable," said Corbo.

So far, four individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 in Delaware, but dozens are being monitored and more cases are likely.

"You can never be too safe and I'd rather be safe than sorry in this situation," said Stephanie Cuff, of Middletownn.

Like the hundreds who were tested on Friday, Cuff is eager to get those results back and hoping for good news.

"Not really nervous but just anxious to actually hear a result that is going to say it is negative, you do not have COVID-19," said Cuff.

Health experts say test results should be available within two to five days.

If you have symptoms, you are urged to contact your doctor. People with questions about the coronavirus can call the Division of Public Health's Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899.