Delaware Division of Public Health has a limited number of tests, as such, they prioritize patients with known exposure, patients who are hospitalized and other high priority situations.
- Patients can be referred to the DPH hotline or sent to ChristianaCare’s Provider Referral Center.
- Commercial labs are offering testing (nasopharyngeal and/or oropharyngeal swabs must be collected in office).
- Please do not send patients to the emergency department unless they require emergent care.
- When considering sending a patient to the emergency department, call ahead and advise the patient to wear a mask.
Patients with non-urgent COVID-19 testing needs should not be sent to the Emergency Department.
Alternatively, ChristianaCare is offering testing at the Provider Referral Center.
- Only patients referred by their provider and in possession of a testing order will be tested.
- Order can be printed, sent electronically or emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Center are unable to accept fax or phone orders.
What role do providers play?
- Determine if a patient is symptomatic and appropriate for COVID-19 testing. Orders must be for Coronavirus 19 testing and include an appropriate diagnosis code.
- Provide the patient a paper script or email script to email@example.com. Provider Referral Center are unable to accept fax or phone orders.
- Refer to suggested triage guidelines:
How do patients make appointments at the Provider Referral Center?
- Patients must reserve a testing time online at a COVID-19 Testing. Reservations can only be made while the center is open. Operating hours vary, so check for daily operating status.
- Provider offices may reserve a testing time on behalf of patients who are not able to or don’t have access to a computer. Reservations are only able to be made online and will only be available for same-day appointments.
What should patients bring to their appointment?
- Physician order, if not sent electronically
- Photo ID
- Insurance card.
How will results be communicated?
- Test results will be communicated within five to seven days to the referring provider, who is responsible for delivering the results to their patient. Providers do not need to notify the Delaware Division of Public Health of any positive test results. The laboratory will do so.
ChristianaCare has expanded hours at its Newark Provider Referral Site to allow for testing of health care workers. Details are below.
Newark PRC for Health Care Workers
- Expanded Operating Hours: Monday through Friday, from 8 – 9 a.m., and Sundays, from 10 AM – noon.
- No appointment needed for Health Care Workers. Walk-ins accepted.
- Open to all health care workers in the community, including private providers, health care workers at other area hospitals and employees of the Blood Bank of Delmarva.
- Each health care worker must bring their order (paper or electronic), ID and insurance card.
- Electronic orders can be emailed to LabOutreach1@christianacare.org.
At ChristianaCare, we understand that healthcare is an extremely personal matter that requires ongoing coordination between patients and their providers. We also understand that in times like this, when caregivers are fighting outbreaks, juggling clinical obligations while protecting patient privacy can be difficult. Nonetheless, prioritizing patients’ privacy rights is still an essential facet of their health care experience. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Protected Health Information (PHI) can be used and disclosed for treatment, payment, and healthcare operations without the patient’s consent. Also, HIPAA permits healthcare providers to use and disclose PHI for public health and safety purposes. However, all uses and disclosures must comply with the HIPAA Minimum Necessary requirement.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) bulletin details (February 3. 2020) how to handle patient privacy during this outbreak, as well as other uses and disclosures related to HIPAA.
- How do we test for COVID-19?
Being a novel, or new, virus there were no existing assays to run prior to 2020. Recently, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) have issued emergency use authorization for a number of tests to increase testing capacity across the country. Currently Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp and Mayo Clinic Laboratories have approved tests, though testing requirements vary. All tests currently look for genetic material of the virus in order to determine positive or negative results.
- Where and how can physicians send patients for testing?
ChristianaCare has testing for COVID-19 at our Patient Referral Center. Delaware Division of Public Health has a limited number of tests, as such, they prioritize patients with known exposure, patients who are hospitalized and other high priority situations. Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp both have test codes as well. All of these tests require swabs from the nose and/or mouth and are test specific. Ask your lab for details.
- What should I do if I think someone has a respiratory illness like COVID-19?
For any patient with influenza like illness, the patient wear a mask and provider wear facemask, and the provider should wear a facemask and eye protection. In addition, the provider should practive good hand hygiene before and after contact. That will help prevent the spread of disease.
- Can I reuse the N95 mask and face shield if I am the only one using it?
PPE is one of the many ways we prevent the spread of infection in addition to hand hygiene, covering your cough, and not touching your face. If you care for a patient with COVID-19 symptoms in the outpatient office, then the PPE is contaminated and you should change into new PPE before the next patient.
- Should I purchase a number of scrubs to avoid contamination of my street clothes?
- What is the best way to disinfect/wash whatever clothing I wear under the disposable gown?
Isolation gowns are designed to prevent infectious material from reaching your clothes. That is the case whether you are wearing scrubs or street clothes. Routine laundering of clothes is recommended.
- Do I need to wear disposable “booties” on my shoes?
Booties are often looked to by caregivers and providers as one way to prevent the spread of infection. In truth, the booties are designed to prevent the blood and bodily fluids from contaminating uncleanable surfaces of clinician footwear. In this case, booties are not appropriate protective equipment against the coronavirus COVID-19.
- What other protective equipment do I need to wear?
Personal protective equipment recommended by the World Health Organization to use when caring for suspected or confirmed coronavirus COVID-19 cases include:
- eye protection.
This is a contact and droplet transmission-based precaution similar to other respiratory viruses like influenza.
- What is the best way to disinfect equipment that I will need to use (i.e. stethoscope, otoscope, etc)?
The virus is not hearty in the environment and on equipment, but the equipment must still be disinfected in order to be safe. Hospital grade disinfectants like PDI Sani Wipe (purple top canister) are effective at killing COVID-19.
Where can I get more information?
- Delaware Unemployment FAQs
- CDC Travel Notices
- DPH Coronavirus Site
- CDC Guidance for Healthcare Professionals
- World Health Organization
Where can I refer patients who have questions about COVID-19?
- CDC About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- What you Need to Know: Handouts & Posters
- Brainpop COVID-19 Video for Kids
- World Health Organization (WHO): Mythbusters
- For more information, call the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) Coronavirus information line at 1-866-408-1899, TTY at 1-800-232-5460 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.