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Kent County Health Department reports drop in COVID-19 testing--here's why

Nursing home COVID-19 testing photo
Spc. Miguel Pena

The Kent County Health Department announced Monday its experiencing a decline in the number of residents seeking COVID-19 tests, and according to Christopher Bendekgey, the Community Clinical Services Division Director, 40%-50% fewer people are getting tested currently than at the height of infections in early to mid-July. 

So, what’s causing the slowdown? What factors are contributing to fewer tests at health department sites?

Bendekgey weighs in. 

“There’s more organizations coming online with their testing capacities and capabilities,” he explains.

Bendekgey is referring to a variety of chain and grocery store pharmacies. But with more testing options, why are fewer tests being performed?

“The thought that the virus is going away, which it is not," Bendekgey said. "So, I think there are fewer people seeking testing because they just think that it’s not needed anymore.”

And there’s the perception it takes too long to get test results back making them not worth it. The reality now is a quick turnaround time.

“We’re seeing anywhere between the 24 to 48-hour turnaround time," Bendekgey said. "And I would say a vast majority of our results (are) coming back within the 24 to 36-hour timeframe.”

There are four Kent County Health Department locations with immediate availability. Tests are free.

Appointments can be made online at accesskent.com.

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