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COVID-19 Screening Before Your Procedure

COVID-19 Screening Before Your Procedure

Thank you for trusting UPMC with your care. Your doctor has asked that you complete a screening for COVID-19 before your surgery/procedure.

Why Have a Screening?

We know that there are an unknown number of people who do not have symptoms during an active COVID-19 infection. We call this “asymptomatic." Screening patients who do not have symptoms but carry the virus may be important for some procedures. It helps to determine if we should delay the procedure and to understand the risks of the procedure should you become sick later.

Your doctor recommends that you have this screening done. If you choose not to, you may still be able to have your procedure. However, it will depend on further discussion with your doctor.

What Happens If I Screen Positive?

If you screen positive, you and your doctor will talk about your specific situation and make the best decision for you. You will decide together whether to delay or move forward with your procedure. If you have the procedure, we will take steps to keep everyone as safe as possible using all precautions.

What to Expect:

  • The screening is quick. A bendable cotton-tipped swab will be placed into your nose and moved to the back of your throat, taking about 15 seconds.
  • Overall, the screening should take less than 1 minute to complete.
  • We assure you that the specimen collection is safe. The staff doing the swab will be wearing face masks, gowns, and gloves.

What Happens Next?

  • If negative: you will not hear from us and you will continue with your scheduled procedure.
  • If positive: your surgeon or doctor will reach out to you to discuss.
  • If you have an active MyUPMC account, you will be able to view the results within a day or two. If you do not, you can download the MyUPMC app from the app store or visit to sign up.


  • If you develop symptoms between today and your procedure, please call your surgeon or doctor. Symptoms could include a cough, shortness of breath, and fever.
  • You will not be responsible for any out- of- pocket costs related to this screening.
  • You must be 13 or older to be screened.

Next Steps

If your procedure is scheduled at:

  • UPMC Carlisle
  • UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • UPMC Community Osteopathic
  • UPMC East
  • UPMC Hanover
  • UPMC Harrisburg
  • UPMC Horizon
  • UPMC Jameson
  • UPMC Lititz
  • UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital
  • UPMC Memorial
  • UPMC McKeesport
  • UPMC Mercy
  • UPMC Northwest
  • UPMC Passavant
  • UPMC Presbyterian
  • UPMC Shadyside
  • UPMC South Surgery Center
  • UPMC St. Margaret
  • UPMC St. Margaret Harmar Outpatient Center
  • UPMC West Mifflin Surgery Center
  • UPMC West Shore

Your testing will occur the same day as your procedure and you do not need to schedule screening in advance.

If your procedure is NOT scheduled at a facility listed above, you will need to go to a UPMC COVID-19 specimen collection site.

Call to schedule your screening at a UPMC COVID-19 specimen collection site (testing center) 3 to 4 days before your procedure.

3 to 4 days before your procedure

Go to a UPMC COVID-19 specimen collection site. Plan to spend less than 10 to 20 minutes in the specimen collection center. All facilities are safe and sanitized regularly.

1 day before your procedure

You will either receive a call from, or you will be asked to call, the pre-procedure department to confirm your arrival time for the day of your procedure.

How to Schedule Your Screening

Call your preferred specimen collection site and provide the following information. Let them know you are calling to schedule “asymptomatic” COVID-19 screening.

  • Doctor performing the surgery/procedure
  • Date of your surgery/procedure
  • Where you want to go for screening
  • Recommended screening date

COVID-19 Testing Sites

View a list of our COVID-19 testing sites by region.