COVID-19 Screening, Testing, & Treatment At Beebe
Beebe Healthcare is proud to offer screening, testing, and treatment options for our community in the fight against COVID-19.
Screening: What Can I Expect?
When you come to any Beebe location, you can expect to be screened for COVID-19. You will be asked a series of questions. If you have any symptoms that might indicate COVID-19, you may be asked to consider being tested for the virus. You must also wear a surgical mask at all Beebe locations. One will be provided if necessary.
If you are not feeling well or have symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, gastrointestinal complaints, or headache, stay home and call your doctor.
What kind of tests are available?
For detecting active infection, there are two types of test: PCR and antigen.
PCR and rapid antigen tests may use a deep nasal swab, a shallow nasal swab that swabs only at the front of the nostrils, or a throat swab.
Antibody tests can be performed with a finger stick or via a tube of blood drawn by a qualified healthcare provider. This only detects an “immune response” test to look for evidence of previous infection.
Tests available at Beebe Healthcare
- Rapid antigen: This testing is available at Beebe Walk-In Care Centers for patients who have COVID-19 symptoms. Results are typically received in 30-60 minutes. Rapid antigen testing is generally reserved for those with symptoms as this increases the accuracy of the test.
- PCR: PCR (polymerase chain reaction) has been the gold standard for testing for active infection for COVID-19. It can be used to confirm the results of rapid antigen testing. Specimen are sent to a lab to obtain a positive or negative result, which is normally available in 48 to 72 hours. This type of tests offered at Division of Public Health sponsored test sites and pharmacies. PCR testing is available at Beebe’s COVID testing and vaccine centers to verify results of a rapid antigen test and/or to identify infections. Beebe will provide results within 72 hours.
- Rapid PCR: Beebe uses rapid PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing mainly for hospitalized patients. It is not offered at Beebe’s Walk-In Care Centers.
There are three ways to collect a test specimen:
- SHALLOW NASAL TEST (just inside the nose): This test typically is self-administered by the individual, under the direction of testing site staff. The individual uses a swab to rub the walls of each nostril in a circular pattern.
- DEEP NASAL TEST (used by hospital systems only): This test is administered by health care providers, using what looks like a long stick with a soft brush at the end. Because the swab must go very far back to collect the cells and fluid in the passageway, the test can feel uncomfortable.
- SALIVA TEST: This test is also self-administered under staff direction. The individual being tested cannot drink, eat or brush their teeth 20 minutes before the test. The individual rubs the swab on the inside of each cheek, the gums, the roof of the mouth and the tongue.
As the pandemic has continued, treating the virus has changed. There are many ways we can treat COVID-19, depending on the severity of the person's condition. Outpatient, we offer COVID Monoclonal Antibodies (see below). We also use remdesivir, steroids, and other medications, called immunomodulators in some patients admitted to the hospital for COVID-19.
Monoclonal Antibody Therapy
Beebe Healthcare was proud to be the first hospital in Delaware to implement monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-infected people at high-risk for complications. Those include patients with certain medical conditions, as well as those who are 65 years of age or older.
Treating with monoclonal antibodies may help shorten the amount of time you are sick from COVID-19 or decrease your chance of needing to be hospitalized because of COVID-19. It is not a cure for COVID-19, but it is another tool that may help prevent severe illness and death. Patients receive one dose of this treatment through an intravenous (IV) infusion, which is done during an appointment. After the infusion, the patient is monitored for at least an hour before returning home.
Monoclonal antibodies attach themselves to the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19). Once attached, the virus can no longer able to attach itself to human cells, hopefully stopping the virus from infecting other cells and preventing progression of the disease.
To be as effective as possible, the antibody treatment should be given early and must be given within the first 10 days of illness. It is important for patients to work closely with their providers to see if they are eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment. As soon as a provider determines that the patient might be a candidate for this treatment– even if the patient is only experiencing mild symptoms at first, the provider’s office can initiate the steps to get scheduled.
With the increase in cases of COVID-19 and the emergence of the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of concern, some monoclonal antibodies are no longer recommended for use. Current logistical and supply constraints make it impossible to offer the available therapy to all eligible patients, so we are following guidance from the NIH on which individuals might receive the greatest benefit from anti-SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics.
This investigational treatment is not authorized for use in patients:
- who are hospitalized due to COVID-19; or
- who need oxygen therapy due to COVID-19; or
- who need increased oxygen due to COVID-19 or who are on chronic oxygen therapy due to a non-COVID-19 health problem.
If you are a provider or patient and need help scheduling this treatment, please call 302-645-3200 for assistance.