Health system COVID-19 hotline staff expanded to meet demand
Beaumont Health has started processing a limited number of COVID-19 tests in its own laboratory. On-site processing allows doctors to have results in hours instead of days.
“We’re proud to have developed a mechanism to process tests within our health system,” said Dr. Barbara Ducatman, chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine for Beaumont Health. “It typically takes months to do this and we did it several days. Our lab team’s expertise has allowed us to serve our patients better during this pandemic. However, we must conserve our testing supplies.
“That’s why we’re only processing our own tests for certain patients who meet COVID-19 testing criteria and are admitted to our hospitals or are receiving treatment in one of our emergency centers.”
COVID-19 hotline update
Due to a high volume of calls, Beaumont has increased its staffing of its COVID-19 hotline. Patients should only call the hotline if they have COVID-19 symptoms: fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. Yesterday, March 16, the hotline received nearly 5,000 calls. The hotline: 800-592-4784 is in operation from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Beaumont nurses and staff will answer questions about the virus and direct patients to the appropriate level of care, including:
- Treating symptoms at home.
- Following up with a primary doctor.
- Seeking treatment at an urgent care or emergency center.
In addition, Beaumont plans to launch web-based screening for patients later this week.
Curbside screening now available at all eight hospitals
All Beaumont hospitals are currently offering limited curbside screening and evaluation for COVID-19. Staff is evaluating hundreds of patients in their vehicles each day across its eight hospitals.
Curbside screening hours
- Dearborn, Royal Oak, Troy: 6 a.m. – 2 a.m.
- Grosse Pointe, Farmington Hills, Taylor, Trenton and Wayne: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
“This limited screening is only for patients who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. If medical staff determines a patient needs to be tested, a specimen will be collected,” said Dr. Nicholas Gilpin, Beaumont Health’s medical director of Infection Prevention and Epidemiology. “Please try to call ahead to Beaumont’s COVID-19 hotline, 800-592-4784, or your physician’s office before attempting to get screened. Again, testing is not necessary for everyone. Some people can develop COVID-19 and not need to be officially tested since the treatment for less severe cases does not change. Most people who become infected with the disease will not experience complications and will recover. They will just need to go home, rest and take over the counter pain medication.”