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Testing encouraged in Rehoboth and Dewey

Staff Writer
Milford Beacon
Milford Beacon

Around 100 people tested positive for the coronavirus in Rehoboth and Dewey Beach.

Testing was conducted by the Delaware Division of Public Health in Rehoboth on Thursday, June 25, and in Dewey on Friday, June 26. About a dozen of the positive tests came from Dewey. The division is also investigating potential additional cases in the area.

Contact has been made with the positive cases and the division is providing guidance on self-quarantining. 

Testing is available today, Monday, June 29, at the Starboard in Dewey Beach from 1 to 6 p.m. A second community testing event is scheduled for Thursday, July 2, at Epworth United Methodist Church, located at 19285 Holland Glade Road in Rehoboth Beach, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can pre-register here.

Additional community testing sites in the beach area are likely to be scheduled in the next week or so.

Testing is highly encouraged for:

  • those living in the beach area with people who are not part of their family
  • those who attended parties or restaurants/bars in the last two weeks without wearing a face covering or social distancing
  • people working in the restaurant, hotel or retail industries who have frequent contact with other people

Beebe Healthcare is also partnering with the Delaware Restaurant Association to offer testing today and Tuesday to staff of any food establishment in or near the beach area.Testing is scheduled for Monday, June 29, from 12 to 2 p.m. at Big Fish Grill, located at 20298 Coastal Highway in Rehoboth Beach. Testing will also be held on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Touch of Italy, located at 19724 Coastal Highway in Rehoboth Beach. No pre-registration is required. Anyone with questions can call (302) 738-2545.

Information about testing events statewide, including community testing sites and free-standing sites operated by health care systems and hospitals, is listed on the testing section of the Delaware coronavirus website.

“We are extremely concerned by yet another cluster of COVID-19 cases in the beach area and the potential for spread to others both at work and in social gatherings,” said Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “We know that some of the positive persons have been at parties recently, potentially transmitting the virus to others who may still be here or may have returned to their homes in other counties or states. We are also concerned by our own staff observations in the beach area and pictures seen on social media of people not wearing face coverings or social distancing while they are out and about, including at bars and restaurants.  Make no mistake, continuing this behavior is a recipe for disaster. It is a sure way for us to end up with widespread infection that ultimately may not be contained to the beach area.” 

Rattay indicated that the risk for widespread infection, hospitalization and even death is higher when people spend more time close together, without social distancing and/or wearing face coverings, in an indoor setting such as a restaurant or bar.

The Division of Public Health asks anyone who observes either lack of social distancing or lack of use of face coverings by patrons or staff at businesses to report it to HSPContact@delaware.gov. All complaints are anonymous. 

“We truly need the public’s cooperation to report when they see persons at businesses not wearing face coverings or social distancing as required,” said Division of Public Health Medical Director Dr. Rick Hong. “Every individual has the opportunity to play an important role in our statewide infection control efforts by telling us when they see something wrong."

For the latest on Delaware’s response to the pandemic, go to de.gov/coronavirus.