CVPH Pre-procedure COVID-19 Testing Protocol Changes
Beginning today, patients requiring elective procedures at The University of Vermont Health Network-Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH), the CVPH Kevin J. Carroll Ambulatory Surgery Center, or certain CVPH office-based procedures are undergoing a COVID-19 antigen test immediately prior to the procedure, regardless of vaccination status.
Individuals who have recovered from a verifiable, laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 within 90 days of the initial diagnosis, have completed their quarantine of 10 days and are asymptomatic will not be tested.
To ensure verification and accuracy, the tests will be supplied by the hospital and must be witnessed by a staff member. Tests taken at home by patients will not be accepted. Previously, patients were required to get a PCR test done at the hospital’s first floor laboratory four days before their scheduled procedure. CVPH Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer Lisa Mark, MD noted that the change was made in accordance with new guidelines released by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).
“This change also makes the pre-procedure process much more convenient for our patients. They no longer need to worry about coming in days ahead of time to get tested for COVID-19, though they may still require other testing beforehand. This will also reduce wait times in our first floor lab. And testing right before the procedure allows us to further reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our procedure teams.”
In the event a patient’s test comes back positive, an already established team at the hospital will review the case and decide how to proceed. Dr. Mark said this may result in some procedures being rescheduled so the patient can receive COVID-19-related care. To try and minimize any temporary inconvenience brought on by a positive test, the hospital recommends that individuals test at home before doing any procedure preparation. If they do test positive, they should immediately call their Primary Care Provider and contact the office of their Procedural Provider/Surgeon to determine if their procedure should be rescheduled. Dr. Mark also pointed out that even if the pre-preparation at home test is negative, there is a possibility that the test on site just before the procedure will be positive. Patients may also follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NYSDOH to minimize the risk of infection before their procedure, including:
- Staying up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines.
- Wearing a well-fitting mask indoors in public in areas where the COVID-19 Community Level is high (it is currently high in Clinton and Essex counties).
- Avoiding poorly ventilated spaces and crowds.
For more information on COVID-19 testing offered by CVPH, visit UVMHealth.org/CVPHCovid19testing.