Important: COVID-19, Vaccines, & Visitor Policy

COVID-19 Testing for Surgical Patients

COVID-19 Testing Required Prior to Surgical Procedures

Hospitals and medical offices are now permitted to see patients for all types of care, including elective surgery. We have been working hard to keep you safe. In order for your surgery to occur as planned, a mandatory COVID-19 test must be completed 7 days prior to surgery.

GBMC HealthCare is pleased to resume surgical procedures for its community. To protect your health and minimize the risk of inadvertent spread of coronavirus, we ask that you:

  • You are required to self-isolate in your home from the time of testing to the arrival at the hospital for your surgery. Continue to follow physical distancing and handwashing guidelines, and limit trips outside the home. This applies to the person who will be bringing you to and from surgery as well (see attached GBMC Pre-Procedure Educational Sheet for more information)
  • Check for symptoms daily prior to surgery and notify us if you have any of the CDC listed symptoms.
  • Complete pre-surgical COVID-19 testing 48-72 hours prior to surgery. As always, your safety and health are our highest priorities. A member of our team will contact you to ask you about symptoms and schedule you for COVID-19 testing in our Procedural Testing Center prior to surgery, even if you do not show symptoms consistent with the virus. This is a precautionary measure to ensure safety. If your COVID result is delayed or anything other than negative, your surgical procedure will be rescheduled. 
  • You are still required to complete your pre-surgical COVID-19 testing, even if you have received your COVID-19 vaccine. Although the vaccines are highly protective against COVID-19, they do not prevent 100% of infections; it is still possible to get infected after you have been vaccinated. Therefore, we are continuing to require testing for our vaccinated patients to ensure the safety of all our staff and patients.

We would also like to assure you that the GBMC Procedural Testing Center is taking multiple precautions to protect people and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • All patients, providers, and staff members have their temperature checked upon arrival and must wear masks. Patients with symptoms will not be tested.
  • Space has been rearranged to allow for social distancing. There are physical barriers in place, and in some cases, family members may be asked to wait in their vehicles.
  • Extensive cleaning of all work spaces and patient areas is performed between encounters and throughout the day.

Thank you for choosing GBMC HealthCare for your surgical procedure. Our team looks forward to caring for you.

John L. Flowers, MD, FACS
Chairman, Department of Surgery

Pre-Procedure Education Sheet

COVID-19 Testing Policies for Patients

  • Within 7 days of your scheduled surgery, a mandatory COVID-19 test must be completed. We strongly recommend your test be performed at GBMC. The GBMC Health Partners Ambulatory Testing Center will reach out to you to set up an appointment date/time to have this test completed. If you do not hear from the ATC, please call 443-559-5500.
  • If you choose to have your testing done elsewhere, it must be a PCR test and it must be completed within 7 days prior to your procedure and faxed to 443-589-5502 no later than 12pm noon, 1 business day prior to your procedure. If we do not receive your results in time, your procedure will be rescheduled.
  • After the test is complete, wear a mask, make necessary trips only (medical care and work), maintain appropriate physical distance from others, avoid gatherings of 10 people or more, and continue proper handwashing.
  • Check for symptoms daily prior to your surgery and notify your surgeon if you have any of the following: Fever = 38.0 C (100 F) in the last 24 hours; New respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat); Chills; Muscle pain; New loss of taste or smell
  • A positive test result will cause a cancellation of your surgery. It is important that, if you receive a call from GBMC in the days prior to your surgery, you answer our call.

COVID-19 Pre-Procedure Requirement

  • Between the time of your test and the time of arrival to the hospital for your procedure/ surgery, make necessary trips only, such as to get medical care or go to work
  • Separate yourself from other people living in your home and avoid gatherings of 10 people or more
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor
  • Wear a face mask when around others in your home or if you feel sick
  • Cover your coughs and sneeze and clean your hands often
  • Avoid sharing personal household items and use a separate bathroom in your home if feasible
  • Clean all "high-touch" surfaces every day
  • Monitor your symptoms and notify your provider if you exhibit any of the above noted symptoms
  • Call 911 if you have a medical emergency


  • Your safety is our highest priority. As a result, when you arrive at GBMC on your day of surgery, you will be asked to stop at our temperature screening desk prior to arriving at the Procedural or Operating Room location. You will be given a mask and we request that you wear the mask during your stay at GBMC.
  • Your surgical team is committed to your health and will use personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout your care at GBMC.

GBMC Visiting Policy in Procedural Areas

  • One designated visitor may accompany the patient to the registration area regardless of visiting hours.
  • The visitor can wait in the designated waiting area until they receive a call from us with updates or patient pick up time. Seating may be limited in the designated waiting area, so we offer the following alternatives for your comfort:
    • Return home or wait at an off-site location (restaurant, mall, store, etc.)
    • Park and wait on GBMC’s Farmhouse Hill surface lot. No fees will be charged for this location.
    • Park and wait in any GBMC garage to be under cover from the weather. Please note, parking fees do apply.
    • Park in either the Lily or Tulip garage and wait in the climate controlled hallway family waiting area between Lily Park and Physicians Pavilion North (PPN). Parking fees may apply.
  • Visitors shall agree to abide by all hospital and infection control regulations
  • Visitation is not permitted in pre-op or PACU, unless the patient is a minor, or the patient requires a legal guardian/surrogate for consent purposes or the patient has a disability as defined by the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.
  • The visitor will be permitted in Phase II PACU for the purpose of reviewing discharge instructions and assisting the patient with dressing, etc.
  • Exceptions to the visitor policy will be at the department level and a communication will be sent to visitor stations via secure chat.
  • For patients who are admitted post-surgery outside of the approved hospital visitation hours, the primary visitor will be permitted to visit the patient on the inpatient unit for a period of no more than 1 hour.

Special Considerations:

  • For pediatric patients, refer to the COVID-19 Interim Mitigation Policy: Care of the Pediatric and Special Needs Patients Through Perioperative and Procedural Services
  • Masks must be worn at all times when inside any GBMC HealthCare facility, and physical distancing of at least 6 ft. must be observed.
  • All family members must use the hand sanitizer at the desk prior to visiting patients and the hand sanitizer at the bedside prior to returning to the waiting room. This is in accordance with the hospital’s infection control policy.
  • Refrain from handshakes and hugs.
  • Family, friends, and loved ones should use electronic devices and apps to keep in contact with patients whenever possible instead of visiting in person (i.e. phone, FaceTime, Skype, etc.).

Directions to Ambulatory Testing Center

From Osler Drive

Turn onto Campus View Drive at traffic signal and proceed uphill following signs for Physicians Pavilion North. Continue straight at first stop sign. Make next right onto Chapman Drive. Turn left into the Ambulatory Testing Center #2 parking lot.

From Charles Street off of 695

Proceed past the GBMC Main Entrance and make your next left onto Gatehouse Drive (the Sheppard Pratt Campus). Proceed on the main road, following signs for Physicians Pavilion North. Make second left onto Chapman Drive. Turn left into the Ambulatory Testing Center #2 parking lot.

From the GBMC Main Entrance on Charles Street

Turn left at the fork and proceed past the GBMC Emergency Department. Continue up the hill and follow the road as it curves to the left. At the top of the hill, turn right into the Ambulatory Testing Center #2 parking lot, directly across the street from Physicians Pavilion North.

IMPORTANT Visitor Policy Changes

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