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Community Testing Pilot

Photos by Evan Krape

UD hosted a drive-thru coronavirus testing event on STAR Campus

As the State of Delaware slowly reopens, the University of Delaware is playing a role in what coronavirus (COVID-19) testing will look like for Delaware employers. In conjunction with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, UD ran a pilot drive-thru COVID-19 test site on Friday, May 29. More than 400 essential UD employees turned out.

“It was a good feeling to see University of Delaware facilities and grounds' trucks, and police cars pulling up to get tested,” said Mark Seifert, UD’s director of emergency management. “It was so efficient. Within a matter of minutes they were back on the road doing their essential functions.”

The event took place over four hours in the northernmost parking lot of UD’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. STAR Campus was an ideal location, organizers said, because it contains ample space and multiple ways to manage the traffic flow. Members of the Delaware National Guard assisted DEMA and UD in administering the tests, handing kits to drivers that allowed them to swab their mouths and return the sample in a sealed container.

A.J. Schall, DEMA’s director and homeland security advisor, hopes to bring the drive-thru testing back to STAR Campus in the coming weeks.

“We did this to A, help the University and B, to see if we can get another site up that we can use over and over,” Schall said. Future dates will include UD essential workers as well as community members.

“We are worried that as we enter Phase 1 [of the re-opening] that people are going to get complacent and not be as active about getting tested,” Schall said. DEMA now has enough testing kits to test not only those with symptoms of COVID-19, but those who feel well.

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