COVID-19 Testing Before Surgery, Procedures, or Admission to the Hospital

Michigan Medicine is committed to the safety of our patients, faculty and staff. You can count on our care teams to ensure you have limited risk of exposure to COVID-19 during your stay with us.

One way we limit your risk of exposure is by providing COVID-19 testing to all patients with a scheduled surgery, procedure or hospital admission. COVID-19 testing gives us important information to ensure we can keep you and all of our patients and staff safe.

Questions and Answers About Pre-Surgery and Pre-Procedure Testing

Contact your health care provider with additional questions about COVID-19 testing as required before a scheduled surgery, procedure or hospital admission.

Who will be tested for COVID-19 before a surgery, procedure or scheduled admission?

All patients scheduled for a surgery or approved procedures, and those being admitted to any of our hospitals, are tested for COVID-19.

Testing is required for both adult and pediatric patients scheduled for these procedure or admission, including infants, as well as individuals who have previously recovered from a COVID-19 infection.

Why is testing necessary even if I have no symptoms?

COVID-19 testing protects patients as well as providers. Patients who have the virus, even if they do not have symptoms, may spread it to others. They are also at higher risk for severe complications after medical procedures.

What should I expect the COVID-19 test to be like?

Pre-procedure or pre-admission COVID-19 testing generally involves a standard nasopharyngeal swab testing (molecular PCR test) to determine if you have an active COVID-19 infection.  This is different from COVID-19 antibody testing, which is done through a blood sample.

A nasopharyngeal swab test involves the patient leaning their head back so that a health care provider can gently put a long cotton swab in the back of the nose to get a sample from a specific place in the back of your nose. You may feel slight temporary discomfort and experience tears in your eyes momentarily during the swab test. Most patients do not describe the test as painful, but many do describe some temporary discomfort.

When will I be tested before my surgery, procedure or scheduled admission?

Every attempt should be made to have the testing done before the day of the procedure or admission, as a positive test result may result in the need to reschedule your procedure or admission.

Patients will be tested 2-4 days prior to their procedure or admission. We encourage you to avoid potential exposures by staying home and following general COVID-19 prevention guidelines between the time of your testing and your scheduled procedure or admission.

Where is pre-procedure or pre-admission COVID-19 testing offered?

COVID-19 testing is available with a referral at several drive-through testing sites in southeast Michigan. Your care team will call you to arrange for pre-procedure or pre-admission testing 2-4 days prior to your procedure or admission.

Patients who live far away from our Michigan Medicine hospitals and health centers may be able to be tested at one of our affiliates (Metro Health or MidMichigan Health), or at a health provider close to your home.

For the uncommon cases when testing cannot be done in advance, same day testing will be made available. Whenever possible, however, testing will be done in advance.

What if I test positive for COVID-19?

If your test results are positive, your surgery, procedure or elective admission will likely be rescheduled.  For those patients whose procedures or scheduled admission cannot be rescheduled for medical reasons, additional precautions will be taken by your care team for the safety of our staff and other patients at the hospital. Please quarantine at home and contact your primary care provider about your positive COVID test result for further instructions.

Alternate COVID-19 Testing Locations

If you do not live near a Michigan Medicine COVID testing site and cannot have your COVID testing done at Michigan Medicine, you can make arrangements to have your testing done at an independent testing site. Below is a list of some non-Michigan Medicine testing sites. Information in this table is subject to change, and you should contact a testing site to confirm availability in advance of visiting the test site. Please discuss your testing location with your Michigan Medicine care team when they call to arrange pre-procedure or pre-admission COVID testing.

Note:Due to the low sensitivity of the Abbott ID Now COVID point of care test, Michigan Medicine will no longer accept a negative test result performed on that platform.

Find an alternate COVID-19 Testing Location

Use the filters below to find an independent COVID-19 testing location. If an accessible version of this information is needed, please access the COVID-19 Testing Locations Google sheet.