Beacon says its system for screening for coronavirus is working, caught positive cases

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Three individuals reportedly called Beacon Health System's hotline, and found out they tested positive for COVID-19.

"As a system Beacon is very proud of what we've been able to accomplish in a very short amount of time...In the last two weeks, we've been able to set up a system where patients can call our hotline, or through the health department and get referred to the appropriate hotline, where they have a telephone screening and, if appropriate, a video visit with a provider. Then they can be referred for testing in a drive-up fashion for a screening, where they don't have to get out of their car," said Memorial Vice President of Medical Affairs, Dr. Dale Patterson.

The three patients who tested positive followed this system.

"All three of them called the hotline and went through the testing. They went home and they've recovered as an outpatient and are doing well. They never needed to be hospitalized and they never needed to be in their doctor's office," Patterson said.

Patterson said most people who have COVID-19 will have a mild form of the disease.

"And they will recover at home without ever needing to be in the hospital," Patterson said.

He said the biggest symptoms to look out for: fever and a cough.

"And right now if you have a fever and a cough, and we know there is transmission in our area, you should stay home and stay away from other people, and call your doctor, and they will access whether you need to come in, and if you need to be tested," Patterson said.

Patterson also said health care professionals are under a lot of stress, as they come to work potentially exposed to the virus.

He said he wants to encourage people to reach out to someone in the health field to offer them a kind word, or write them a nice note, or maybe even drop off a meal.

Beacon's hotline number is 855-523-2225.