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Sneeze, Cough, Fever: Finding the Right Care in a COVID Surge

Doctor speaks to patient in waiting room

You can help Beebe Healthcare give you the best care as hospitals across the state and country are nearing – and sometimes – exceeding capacity.

Remember: No matter what, Beebe is always here to care for you. Seek emergency care if needed and always dial 911 during a life-threatening incident. We thank you for any help you can provide during this challenging time. Beebe’s South Coastal Emergency Department near Millville is open and ready to care for you as is the ER on the Margaret H. Rollins Lewes Campus.

Additionally, you can help your local community health system by getting a series of the COVID-19 vaccine and booster dose, wearing your mask when you are in close contact with others, and washing your hands. These actions are your best tools to keep you out of the hospital and prevent severe illness.

We need your help. Please follow these guidelines when seeking care.


Scenario: I Think I have COVID Symptoms

  • Stay home and isolate from others
  • Call your Primary Care Provider
  • If you need medical attention, seek it
  • Seek proper testing options
  • Call 911 or go to the ER for life-threatening emergencies, not testing

First, isolate from others and call your primary care provider. Explain your symptoms, work with the answering service or leave a voicemail so that you can receive a call back. Your provider will be able to determine the best treatment options. If it’s an emergency, dial 911. If you don’t have a PCP, call 302-645-3332 to get an appointment with Beebe providers accepting patients.

If you are unable to quickly get a test through your PCP, you may be referred to a state testing location. Go to coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing/. This site, run by public health, includes permanent and temporary testing sites throughout Delaware. It also includes approximately how long until you receive results. This the preferred method of testing and will provide the best patient experience.

If you do have COVID-19 symptoms (symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, aches, fatigue, chills, headache, nausea, and/or loss of taste or smell), you should isolate at home and assume you are positive until you can get tested. The CDC has also updated its isolation guidelines, which you can find here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html.

Your primary care provider will be able to help navigate you through this! Beebe also has testing options.

Beebe Symptomatic testing: While we suggest the state testing sites for expedited results, patients that are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and who are in need care or testing are encouraged to contact their Primary Care Provider or at one of our four Walk-In Care Centers. A provider is available at each of our Walk-Ins to assess your symptoms and discuss the appropriate type of COVID-19 testing with you, as well as any additional testing and/or treatment that may be needed. Please choose "sick visit" as the reason for your visit.

Online appointments and additional instructions available at https://www.beebehealthcare.org/online-scheduling. More information on asymptomatic testing below.

An ED Shouldn’t Be Your First Choice

We understand the fear and anxiety that the thought of having COVID-19 can induce. You should not come to an emergency department if you need to be tested for COVID-19. Hospitals are strained by the increased numbers of patients with serious COVID illness and flu. Wait times are lengthy as care teams triage patients to make sure everyone receives the timely care that is needed.

Come to Beebe’s two emergency departments in Lewes and Millville for:

  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal or flank pain
  • High fever
  • Trauma
  • Dehydration
  • Fainting, dizziness or loss of consciousness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Back pain
Choose your primary care provider before a walk in care center. When you are sick, your first call should be to your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider or can't reach them, call the walk-in care center
Walk-in care center vs emergency department: Walk in care centers are for non-life-threatening symptoms. The Emergency Department is for life-threatening emergencies.

Scenario: I don’t have symptoms but need testing

Many need testing for upcoming travel or may want to test before gathering with family. There are many options for you.

Go to coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing/. This site run by public health includes permanent and temporary testing sites throughout Delaware, including pharmacies. It also includes how approximately long until you receive results.

Additionally, you may request an at-home kit from the Department of Public Health or find an at-home testing kit from a local pharmacy, however, supplies have been limited because of the increased demand of testing.

Beebe Asymptomatic Testing (testing for any reason without symptoms) is available at Beebe's COVID-19 testing and vaccine centers in Lewes and Millsboro. Scheduling at these two locations will reduce wait times as Beebe's Walk-In Care locations are caring for other injuries/illnesses. Services are currently available Monday - Friday and you may schedule up to five days in advance. Beebe offers PCR tests with results in 72 hours, which is subject to change based on demand. Vaccines and boosters are also available to those ages 12 and older. Remember to bring your vaccine card.

Online appointments and additional instructions available at https://www.beebehealthcare.org/online-scheduling.

Please DO NOT go to the Emergency Department for COVID-19 testing.


Scenario: I have a non-COVID related illness or injury

  • Call Primary Care Provider
  • Go to Walk-In Care for mild illnesses or injuries
  • Call 911 or go to the emergency department for life threatening illnesses or injuries

Primary care providers should always be the first point of contact if you are unwell. If you don’t have a PCP, you can call 302-645-3332 to get an appointment with Beebe providers accepting patients. You can also call or visit a Walk-In Care Center.

when do I go to the walk in? Walk in care centers are for non-life threatening symptoms. Eye and ear infections, Sports physicals, Urinary tract and bladder infections, Sprains and minor injuries, Minor gastrointestinal complaints, Skin problems such as minor rashes and burns
•	Minor cuts and simple lacerations (stitches must be placed in less than 24 hours)
•	Limited medication refills
•	Upper respiratory symptoms


When to go to one of Beebe’s Four Walk-In Care Centers

Like our emergency departments, Beebe’s Walk-in Care Centers in Rehoboth, Millsboro, Georgetown and Millville have been very busy. Help us care for the sickest patients in the emergency department by choosing Primary or Walk-In Care for mild symptoms, or times when you are unable to reach your Primary Care Provider. Virtual appointments are available.



When to go to one of Beebe's two Emergency Departments

For any life-threatening illness or injury, dial 911 or come to one of Beebe’s two emergency departments in Lewes and Millville. Do NOT come to the ED for COVID-19 testing.

When do I go to the Emergency Department?

THANK YOU for all your support and consideration as we begin this new year. It is our privilege to care for Sussex County.