Beebe: Be prepared for an uptick in COVID-19 cases
The number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Delaware continues to rise, especially in Sussex County.
That was expected and Beebe Healthcare representatives say they are prepared for more, but are asking citizens to be prepared and to take the global pandemic seriously. Beebe has set up two testing sites in Sussex for referral-based testing, as well as a COVID-19 screening line for those without access to primary care.
Gov. Carney issued a stay-at-home order on Sunday that went into effect Tuesday, March 24.
“We’re acting with urgency to prevent a spike in coronavirus cases that could overwhelm our hospital system,” Gov. Carney in his statement. “Delawareans cannot go out in public unnecessarily. Wash your hands and disinfect surfaces frequently. Essential businesses that remain open must provide easy access to hand washing stations or sanitizer, enforce social distancing, and provide flexible sick leave policies for their employees. That will reduce our risk and help keep all Delawareans healthy. We’ll get through this, but we all need to pitch in and take this threat seriously.”
Below are some frequently asked questions Beebe has received along with some important information to keep citizens safe during the coming weeks.
I feel sick and think I need testing, what should I do?
Beebe has partnered with the State of Delaware to set up programs to help everyone who needs to be tested to have access. It’s important to know that if you are symptom free, you should not be tested.
Beebe has two car-based testing sites in Sussex County. To be tested at one of these sites, a physician order is required. After the physician places the referral, Beebe will schedule your testing.
Remember, to practice social distancing, your provider may not need to see you and may be able to screen and assess you on the phone. This will protect the doctor’s office and other community members from possibly catching COVID-19.
Testing will be car based once you arrive. Walk-ups and non-scheduled testing is not permitted.
Here is an easy step-by-step overview:
- Reach out to your provider.
- If the provider deems a test necessary, Beebe will reach out to you to schedule a visit and instructions will be provided.
- Follow-up with your physician for test results.
- Remember to follow the advice of the State and CDC:
- For individuals who are sick, particularly with fever and cough or shortness of breath, stay home and contact your primary care provider for guidance.
- Practice social distancing and good hand hygiene.
- Utilize the state’s Coronavirus Call Center, 1-866-408-1899, for additional questions and guidance.
- Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.
What if I do not have a provider?
If you do not have a primary care provider, you still have an option. Beebe has set up a COVID-19 Screening Line to allow those without access to primary care to call 302-645-3200.
Those who call will be screened and assessed by a Beebe provider, which may result in the necessary physician order to be tested at one of the sites.
Why were these sites created?
Responsible testing will give a clear picture of how COVID-19 is spreading in our community. These sites allow people who need to be tested to drive up to the location and not have to get out of their car.
This is best practice during this time of social distancing, and it also conserves the use of valuable personal protective equipment at locations like our emergency department in Lewes.
Here is a statement from the Delaware Healthcare Association on why that is important: “There is no need to rush to the emergency room, unless you are having significant difficulty breathing. Delaware’s hospitals are prepared for coronavirus, but it is important to preserve resources for those that truly need them and avoid unnecessarily exposing vulnerable people to the virus.”
Remember, you can always dial 911 and explain your symptoms if you feel you are having an emergency.
For more information about Beebe Healthcare, go to www.beebehealthcare.org.