Clarification of OSDH Guidance for Resuming Elective Surgical Procedures
The Oklahoma State Department of Health’s news release dated April 22, OSDH Issues Guidance for Resuming Elective Surgical Procedures in Oklahoma April 24, contained COVID-19 testing guidance that requires clarification.
As elective surgeries are starting to resume this week in Oklahoma in accordance with Governor Stitt’s Executive Order amendments, the OSDH would like to ensure all ambulatory surgery centers and hospitals are aware of our guidance pertaining to elective surgeries as listed and clarified below.
- Elective surgery centers and hospitals must administer COVID-19 tests in partnership with private labs to test all patients prior to surgery. COVID-19 testing is required prior to all elective surgeries. This testing refers to PCR tests and not antibody tests, and can be performed by any accredited, private lab with this testing capability. The Public Health Laboratory will not be used to provide COVID-19 testing to clear patients for elective surgery.
- Patients should receive a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours of the scheduled procedure. This 48-hour turnaround timeframe is guidance for ideal turnaround time for receipt of results, but it is not a requirement. PCR test results must be received from a test taken no more than seven (7) days prior to surgery, and the patient must remain free from symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
- Elective surgery centers and hospitals should not perform an operation on a patient with a medical history of COVID-19 until that patient has received two negative COVID-19 test results. This is a recommendation, however the OSDH is comfortable with requiring patients recovering from COVID-19 to be fever free for at least three (3) days without the use of a fever-reducing medication, significantly recovered from all other symptoms, be at least seven (7) days from onset of symptoms, and have one negative PCR test result.
The foregoing recommendations should be followed according to the treating physician’s professional judgement.
As a reminder, medical providers are encouraged to consult the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Non-Emergent, Elective Medical Services and Treatment Recommendations for guidance on what is considered an elective surgery or procedure.