COVID-19 Elective Surgeries and Procedures

As of 5.6.20

From the Illinois Department of Public Health

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When may elective procedures begin?
A: May 11, 2020
Q: What is “operational capacity”?
A: It is the number of beds (medical/surgical or intensive care) the organization can staff.
Q: How do you define patients requiring testing for the purposes of this guidance?
A: Anyone admitted for a procedure in the operating room or a procedure requiring anesthesia, including, but not limited to, procedures of the upper respiratory/GI tracts with potential for aerosol generation and anyone planned for an outpatient procedure in the operating room with the potential to involve general anesthesia or other aerosol generating procedures, such as procedures of the upper respiratory or GI tracts.
Q: Is testing asymptomatic patients recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)?
A: Testing asymptomatic patients for COVID-19 is not currently an official CDC recommendation, but it is recommended in IDPH's continued efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 and keep patients and health care workers as safe as possible.
Q: Is the only test allowed a RT-PCR test?
A: No. The test should be a nucleic acid-based test.
Q: Where should the preoperative testing specimens be analyzed?
A: Hospitals and practices should have access to nucleic acid-based SARS-CoV-2 testing (e.g., via an in-house or commercial laboratory). IDPH laboratory capacity is prioritized for high-risk congregate care sites, outbreak investigations, and other priorities identified by the director.
Q: My patient has recovered from a recent COVID-19 infection. Should he/she be tested again?
A: No. The procedure can be performed 10 days after onset of symptoms or 3 days since last day of symptoms or fever, whichever is longer.
Q: What if my patient had a test at an outside lab?
A: Documented reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or other nucleic acid-based tests from outside labs are acceptable if done within the recommended time frame.
Q: What if my patient has a pending COVID-19 test but needs an emergency procedure?
A: Pending tests should not delay needed care. Procedural PPE policies should reflect the possibility of unknown infection and protect health care workers regardless of whether a patient is later found to be infected. Urgent or emergent procedures should proceed even if the COVID test is pending or has not been collected.