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Surgery and Procedure FAQs

Whether your upcoming procedure requires you to stay overnight or not, there are some important things you need know prior to your visit:

COVID Testing

Our pre-procedure COVID-19 testing requirements are changing for adults and children. If you don’t have symptoms, you no longer need a COVID-19 test before receiving treatment. Beginning Monday, May 1, 2023:

  • Asymptomatic patients do not need a COVID test prior to admission.
  • Symptomatic patients and those who report living with a person with an active COVID-19 infection will continue to be tested for COVID-19 before a procedure or surgery.
  • All behavioral health patients are still required to be tested for COVID-19 before admission.

This change is being made with careful consideration of the decreasing level of COVID-19 in the community, an increasing level of immunity across the population and the availability of effective treatment.

Why do I need to be tested for COVID-19 if I am having a procedure at a hospital site?

COVID-19 Testing remains a standard practice for all hospital sites.

Do I need to have my pre-surgery/procedure COVID-19 test at a specific site?

A test conducted within the Yale New Haven Health System is preferred and ensures an accurate, high-standard quality result. For your surgery/procedure, your results will be readily available to your physician and care team if the test is performed at a Yale site.

How long before my scheduled surgery/procedure date should I be tested?

If you require a pre procedure COVID test, you must be tested within three (3) calendar days before your scheduled surgery/procedure and the test must be performed with enough time to allow a result to be available before the time of your surgery.

I live more than an hour away from the hospital where my surgery/procedure is scheduled. Do I need to travel that far for my pre-surgery/procedure test?

There are several testing sites located throughout the health system. You may have your test at any of the Yale New Haven Health COVID testing tents. Sites are located in Greenwich, Fairfield, Bridgeport, Milford, New Haven, Guilford, Wallingford and New London in Connecticut, with an additional site in Westerly, Rhode Island. Additionally, there are multiple designated Lab Draw Stations located at sites throughout Connecticut and New York for asymptomatic pre-surgical/procedural COVID testing.

COVID Testing Locations

How many days per week are the testing sites open?

Access to testing is available seven (7) days per week, including weekends. Yale New Haven Health Lab Draw Stations are open Monday-Saturday. Appointments are required to ensure appropriate access and availability.

Why do I need to be tested again? I tested negative a few weeks ago.

If a pre-procedural COVID test is required based on your procedural location, you must be tested as close to the surgery/procedure as possible to ensure that you do not have COVID-19.

When will I receive notification about the appointment for my COVID test?

If you are a MyChart user, you will receive a message from us 7-10 days before your surgery/procedure date with a link to schedule your own COVID test appointment at a location, date and time that bests suits you. The options provided for your testing appointment will be within two (2) to three (3) days of your scheduled surgery/procedure.

If you are not a MyChart user, one of our healthcare members will contact you directly 5 days before your surgery/procedure date. If you do not receive a phone call to schedule a COVID screening appointment and it is three (3) days before your surgery/procedure, please call the YNHHS COVID Hotline Call Center at (833)-ASK-YNHH (833)-275-9644 to assist with scheduling 7 days per week 7am-7pm.

Can I go to a Yale New Haven Testing Site without an appointment, and have a screening test performed?

No. For your safety and for the appropriate timing of your COVID test, it is very important that you do not arrive at a Yale New Haven Testing site without an appointment.

What do I do if I cannot get transportation to a testing site prior to my scheduled surgery/procedure?

When our schedulers contact you 5 days before your surgery/procedure date with your appointment for the test, tell them that you do not have transportation. Our team can coordinate an alternative way for you to be tested.

Does my test need to involve a nasal swab?

Yes. Currently this is the only reliable test.

If I do not have a COVID test before my surgery/procedure, what will happen?

If a pre procedural COVID test is required due to the location of your upcoming procedure we ask that you complete the test within the allocated time period. If you have a concern about completing your test in a timely manner please consult your care team for further instructions.

How will know if I tested positive for COVID?

You will get your results in MyChart. Your physician’s office will be notified only if you have a positive result. If you are positive, do not arrive for your scheduled surgery/procedure until you have had a discussion with your physician about your plan.

If I am tested and the results are positive will my surgery/procedure be cancelled?

Your surgery/procedure may need to be rescheduled. You and your physician will discuss your specific care plan. If you test positive for COVID 19, do not arrive for your scheduled surgery/procedure until you have had a discussion with your physician about your plan.

Contact information for any pre-surgical/procedural COVID related testing questions:

Call the YNHHS COVID Hotline Call Center at (833)- ASK-YNHH (833)-275-9644 to assist with scheduling 7 days per week 7am-7pm.

Preparing for My Surgery/Procedure

My surgeon told me to “socially isolate” for at least seven days before my surgery/procedure. What does this mean?

Follow CDC guidelines:

  • Stay at least six feet away from others
  • Wash your hands frequently and wear a mask at all times in public places
  • Avoid contact with others outside of your immediate household members and avoid leaving your home as much as possible

You must still arrive for your scheduled COVID screening test if indicated.

What symptoms should I tell my physician about before I arrive on the day of my surgery/procedure?

Notify your physician if you have a fever that is greater than 100.5, new respiratory symptoms (such as congestion, cough, or shortness of breath), sore throat, and/or the loss of smell or taste.


How will I know what time to arrive on the day of my surgery/procedure?

You will receive a message the afternoon prior to your scheduled surgery/procedure with details of your arrival time and parking instructions. Follow all pre-surgical/procedural instructions provided by your physician and/or preadmission testing provider.

What to Expect on the Day of My Surgery/Procedure

What can I bring with me when arriving for my surgery/procedure? Is there a safe place to store my belongings?

Please bring a form of ID. You may bring a cell phone, cell phone charger, glasses, contacts, hearing aids, dentures, toiletries and clothing as needed. We encourage you to leave any valuables at home and only bring what is necessary. The perioperative nursing team will safely store your belongings in a sealable plastic bag labeled with your name and place it in a locked closet during your procedure. The perioperative nursing team will retrieve your belongings once you are in the recovery room and bring the bag to your bedside.

Patient Safety Measures

What is Yale New Haven Health System doing to keep me safe during my surgery/procedure and/or hospital stay?

We have put a number of safety measures in place to keep you safe:

  • Frequent cleaning and disinfection in hospital rooms and public areas
  • Our premises and all instruments are prepared for use following rigorous protocols
  • Patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 are cared for in designated areas, separate from patients without COVID-19
  • Minimizing lines during your check-in process
  • We encourage physical distancing wherever feasible throughout our facility
  • Screening processes and masking policies are in place throughout our facility for all patients, visitors and staff
  • We require our staff to participate in our COVID and influenza vaccination campaigns

Visitor Guidelines

Visitor guidelines are updated regularly for the safety of our patients and staff. Please reach out to your physician’s office directly for the most up-to-date visitor guidelines.

Visitors are limited at this time. The visitation guidelines will be amended when appropriate.

View our latest visitor guidelines

Recovery After Your Surgery/Procedure

After my surgery/procedure, is it necessary for me to isolate/quarantine?

Your surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits of surgery including if there is an increased risk of contracting COVID19. A period of isolation may or may not be necessary. Your surgeon will discuss any precautionary steps you must take for your protection to reduce the risk of surgical complications.