Beebe Healthcare wants our community to stay informed of the latest health concerns. Information on this page is gathered through the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and World Health Organization (WHO).
Beebe's COVID-19 Screening App allows users to answer questions to learn if they might have COVID-19. In addition, it offers a direct connection to schedule testing and to request an appointment if needed.
The best resource for general questions on Coronavirus is the Division of Public Health Coronavirus Call Center.
The State will be answering questions for those who call 1-866-408-1899 (8:30-4:30 M-F), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visitor Restrictions Are In Place Due to COVID-19
*Note: The information and best policies regarding COVID-19 are changing frequently.
Beebe has thoughtfully made these choices. Evidence-based guidance from the CDC and Delaware Division of Public Health show that wearing a face covering and physical distancing can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Special circumstances do allow for visitation at the hospital or at a Beebe Medical Group location. If there are additional questions, contact your provider prior to your visit.
One healthy visitor is permitted as follows:
- Patients in the Emergency Department. The visitor may not leave the emergency department or swap with another visitor. Additionally, if the patient is admitted, the visitor may not join the patient in the inpatient area unless it is a pediatric patient.
- Pediatric patients – (second visitor allowed in the OR waiting room as well)
- Patients on comfort care
- Specialty physician outpatient visits
- Labor and delivery
- Patients undergoing procedure or surgical procedure including urgent or emergent surgery.
Limiting visitors and the amount of people in waiting rooms also helps provide a safe, physically-distanced area for our patients at Beebe locations.
On June 1, Beebe began its recovery phase with the reactivation of elective procedures and scheduled lab and imaging appointments.
Here are some other things to expect when coming to a Beebe care location:
- Everyone should wear a mask or face covering
- You can expect to be asked COVID-19 screening questions, such as whether you have been sick or been around others who might be sick
- You can expect to have your temperature taken
- You can expect to see Plexiglas dividers at some stations and visual cues on the floor to encourage physical distancing
- You may be asked to call when you arrive, or complete registration in your car
- All outpatient lab and imaging requires an appointment. Call 302-645-3278 to schedule.
“We have thoughtfully added additional evidence-based safety measures at our locations, including Plexiglas at registration desks and visual cues as a reminder of physical distancing,” said Dr. Tam. “We still need the community to work together by adhering to the requirements for face coverings and our visitor policy during this new normal. Together, we can continue to slow this pandemic and continue recovery as a community.”
Could it be COVID-19? There's an App for That
Beebe's COVID-19 Screening App allows users to answer screening questions to learn if they might have COVID-19. In addition, it offers a direct connection to schedule testing and to request an appointment if needed. Beebe resources and education are also available. The app is available for download on your smartphone by going to your App Store or Google Play.
Concerned you might have COVID-19? If you have a primary care provider, call the office. If you do not have a provider, call Beebe's Coronavirus Screening Line: 302-645-3200.
Beebe is providing Referral-Based Testing for those who have already completed screening questions. Call your provider's office to be screened and if testing is needed, your provider will provide you with a physician order. An appointment will be made by Beebe. Walk-ups will not be accepted.
Beebe is proud to partner with the Blood Bank of Delmarva to use Convalescent Plasma collected during blood draws as a treatment method for those hospitalized with COVID-19.
Additional Public Health Information
Getting an annual flu shot is the best way to prevent influenza. Beebe Healthcare hosts several free flu clinics throughout the fall and winter months.
Some Questions & Answers:
Q: What are the symptoms of Zika?
A: The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms typically begin two to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. About one in five people infected with Zika will get sick.
Q: How is Zika transmitted?
A: Zika is primarily transmitted through
mosquito bite when the mosquito bites a person already infected with the virus and then bites someone else. There is also growing evidence that men can transmit the virus to women during sexual activity. There is no evidence that Zika can be spread through casual contact like kissing, hugging, etc. The virus can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth. We do not know how often Zika is transmitted from mother to baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth.
Q: Who is at risk of being infected?
A: Anyone who is living in, or traveling to, an area where Zika virus transmission is currently occuring or women who have male sexual partners who have traveled to these areas.
Via Delaware Division of Public Health: Zika is generally transmitted through bites of infected Aedes mosquitoes. The mosquito that most commonly transmits Zika (Aedes aegypti), as well as dengue and chikungunya, is very rare in Delaware. However, in Delaware we do have another Aedes species of concern for possible transmission of Zika, the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus. Local Zika transmission via a mosquito is possible once mosquito season starts but it depends on a variety of factors. We are working with DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section to prepare for that possibility.
Most people who are infected with Zika do not develop symptoms. About one in five people infected with the virus develop the disease, and symptoms are generally mild. Anyone who lives or travels in the impacted areas can be infected. The most common symptoms of Zika virus are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms typically begin two to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. It can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth. It is not yet known how often Zika is transmitted from mother to baby. In very rare cases, there have been documented cases of sexual transmission from male to female.
The most serious threat linked to Zika is serious birth defects. While it generally presents as a mild illness, there have been reports of serious birth defects to infants whose mother contracted the virus while pregnant. Microcephaly (https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/microcephaly.html), a condition in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age, and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers are now being linked to the virus.
As a result, the Division of Public Health (DPH) is focusing its messaging and awareness on preventing exposure to pregnant women and their partners.
If you are pregnant and have traveled outside the country or believe you may have contracted the Zika virus, please talk to your physician as soon as possible. Here is a Q&A about Zika for pregnant women.
Additional Zika Information Materials include:
• DPH Zika e-newsletter: general info and important links
• Flyer targeting pregnant women for posting in medical/other locations (English)
• Flyer targeting pregnant women for posting in medical/other locations (Spanish; en espanol)
You may also find the DPH Zika webpage helpful: https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/zika.html
Lyme Disease & Tick-borne Illnesses
According to the World Health Organization: Lyme disease (Lyme Borreliosis) is caused by Borrelia bacteria and is transmitted through the bite of infected deer ticks (of the Ixodes species). Many species of mammals can be infected and rodents and deer act as important reservoirs.
The first recognized outbreak of this disease occurred in Connecticut, United States, in 1975. The current burden is estimated at 7.9 cases per 100 000 people in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Delaware Division of Public Health says in Delaware, the most common tick-borne disease is Lyme disease, which is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected deer ticks. There were 418 Lyme disease cases in Delaware in 2014. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is diagnosed much less frequently in the First State with only 24 cases in 2014. Symptoms of Lyme disease can include a “bull’s-eye” rash (seen in approximately half of Lyme disease cases in Delaware), fever, fatigue, headache, and muscle and joint aches. Chronic joint, heart, and neurological problems may occur. It usually takes 24 to 36 hours of attachment before a tick transmits a disease.
According to the Delaware Division of Public Health: Mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus (WNV), Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), and several other diseases that cause brain inflammation (encephalitis) and can be fatal to humans and animals. Approximately 80 percent of human WNV infections are mild and cause no apparent symptoms. The other 20 percent develop a mild illness (West Nile fever), which includes fever, body and muscle aches, headache, nausea, vomiting, and a rash. A small percentage of patients, usually the elderly, develop severe neurological disease that results in meningitis or encephalitis.
Key facts (World Health Organization):
- West Nile virus can cause a fatal neurological disease in humans.
- However, approximately 80% of people who are infected will not show any symptoms.
- West Nile virus is mainly transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
- The virus can cause severe disease and death in horses.
- Vaccines are available for use in horses but not yet available for people.
- Birds are the natural hosts of West Nile virus.
April 2015: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in partnership with the Sierra Leone College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS) and the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), is now enrolling and vaccinating volunteers for the Sierra Leone Trial to Introduce a Vaccine against Ebola (STRIVE). This study will assess the safety and efficacy of the rVSV-ZEBOV candidate Ebola vaccine among health and other frontline workers.
“A safe and effective vaccine would be a very important tool to stop Ebola in the future, and the frontline workers who are volunteering to participate are making a decision that could benefit health care professionals and communities wherever Ebola is a risk,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We hope this vaccine will be proven effective but in the meantime we must continue doing everything necessary to stop this epidemic —find every case, isolate and treat, safely and respectfully bury the dead, and find every single contact.”
STRIVE will enroll about 6,000 health and other frontline workers. It will be conducted in Western Area Urban district, which includes Freetown, Western Area Rural district, and certain chiefdoms in Bombali, Port Loko, and Tonkolili districts. These study locations were selected because they have been heavily affected by the Ebola outbreak in the past few months.
As of October 29, 2014, Delaware does not have any confirmed cases of ebola. From the CDC: "The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. Although the risk of an Ebola outbreak in the United States is very low, CDC and partners are taking precautions to prevent this from happening." On September 30, 2014, the first case of Ebola in the United States was reported by a hospital in Texas. This Texas patient, who has since died, had contact with Ebola while traveling outside the United States. Ebola is only spread through contact with bodily fluids. Since this case, two healthcare workers have contracted Ebola. Learn more here.
As of October 20, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Nigeria Ebola-free. For more on the WHO outreach on Ebola, click here.
Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is one of more than 100 non-polio enteroviruses. Since EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, the virus can be found in an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. EV-D68 likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches a surface that is then touched by others. Learn more from the CDC here.