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Beebe Healthcare able to test for coronavirus at in-house lab

Delaware News Desk
Milford Beacon

Beebe Healthcare now has the ability to run a limited number of laboratory tests to confirm the coronavirus cases through its on-campus laboratory, they announced April 14.

This means in certain, limited instances, Beebe can test a patient for the coronavirus, get a result in one to two hours and inform the patient in a few hours instead of a few days. However, the supply of the materials needed to run the test are limited, and Beebe will continue to utilize the state of Delaware’s and commercial labs.

“Although the test kits are in short supply, I am happy to report we are able to obtain novel coronavirus confirmation test results in a few hours rather than multiple days in some cases,” said David Tam, president and CEO, Beebe Healthcare. “We will continue to send specimens to other labs as our allotted supply cannot meet the demand, but it is progress. I want to thank all the team members who worked tirelessly to obtain these necessary materials. I also want to thank our state leaders and community, who have donated more than $400,000 to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, which was crucial in being able to obtain these materials.”

Beebe is not changing their process for collecting specimens at its mobile testing locations throughout Sussex County. Patients are encouraged to continue talking to their primary care provider or utilize the COVID-19 Screening Line, at 645-3200, to be screened, assessed and scheduled for testing. Beebe Medical Group is also offering telemedicine visits with providers so that patients can stay safe in their home during this time of physical distancing.

Patients should not go to the Margaret H. Rollins Lewes Campus to receive a coronavirus test; only use the emergency department in case of a true emergency.

Beebe has also expanded its COVID-19 Screening Line. While its primary purpose is for patients to receive screening and assessment by a Beebe clinician for COVID-19 testing, the screening line team is prepared to address questions surrounding COVID-19 symptoms, education and care. The line is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.

“It is important to stress that our community needs to continue to follow the quarantine guidance from the Division of Public Health and Gov. John Carney,” said Tam. “This surge has not come to Delaware yet, but we are still expecting a surge and are prepared. Leaving your home should only be for essential reasons. Be sure to make your appointments with your primary care provider and manage chronic illnesses if you have any — staying healthy and in your home is the best defense against COVID-19 pandemic.”

For more, visit beebehealthcare.org.