SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A local hospital system will soon begin testing all patients undergoing a surgical procedure for COVID-19.
According to St. Joseph’s/Candler, starting this Monday, patients will be tested during the pre-screening process — five to six days ahead of surgery — even if they show no symptoms.
If a patient tests positive, they will be contacted along with their surgeon for further guidance before proceeding with the surgery.
Elective surgeries and outpatient areas have been back in operation for two weeks now. Officials at the hospital system say testing is the next safe step.
“During this crisis, our priority at St. Joseph’s/Candler has been to protect the health of our patients and our co-workers,” said Paul Hinchey. “As our testing capability has increased and we reopened elective surgeries, we thought the most prudent course of action would be to make sure everybody was tested.”
Patients at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Candler Hospital and the Pooler Campus should begin receiving calls about the tests as early as Thursday.
For those with more immediate needs or for patients scheduled for surgery in the next couple of days, in-house rapid testing will be used.
“There are many patients who have delayed important surgical procedures during the COVID-19 crisis,” a statement from St. Joseph’s/Candler said. “It is our goal to put in place every safety measure that is reasonably possible in order to give patients the peace of mind that they can receive the care they need in a safe environment.”
The hospital system is said to be using the same in-house testing for all inpatients at this time.
About 100 surgical patients will be impacted by the new testing process each day.