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COVID-19 Testing Before Your GI Procedure at Johns Hopkins Medicine: What You Need to Know

doctor wearing PPE checking patient for coronavirus

When you are scheduled for a gastrointestinal (GI) procedure at Johns Hopkins Medicine, such as an endoscopy, you will need to be tested for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 before your appointment.

If your doctor has prescribed a procedure for you, you shouldn’t delay. Prompt diagnosis and treatment can spot problems and deal with them before they become more serious.

Ellen Stein of Johns Hopkins’ Division of Gastroenterology provides insights on how, when and why to get coronavirus testing before your procedure.

headshot of Dr. Ellen SteinEllen Stein, M.D., shares what you need to know about COVID-19 testing before a gastrointestinal procedure.

Why do I need to have a coronavirus test?

In our commitment to keep everyone safe and help avoid the spread of the virus, Johns Hopkins has procedures and policies in place to protect you, all our patients, and care providers.

Your GI procedure involves close contact between you and your practitioner. Knowing your coronavirus status before you arrive is essential so we can provide the care you need while protecting you, staff members and other patients.

When do I need to be tested for COVID-19?

The test must happen within several days before your scheduled procedure. Once you are tested, it’s important to isolate as much as possible, and wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

We are working with laboratories throughout the state as well as our own Johns Hopkins testing sites to facilitate testing so that it is as efficient and easy as possible.

Where should I go to get a COVID-19 test before my procedure?

We ask patients to try to get their tests performed at a Johns Hopkins testing location. Most outside testing locations have long turnaround times, some more than a week. At state labs in Maryland, coronavirus test results take several days at least. We need to have final test results on the day BEFORE your scheduled procedure. Getting tested at a Johns Hopkins location will help us get your results more quickly so your procedure can be performed on time.

It’s quick and easy to get a COVID-19 test at Johns Hopkins. We have multiple locations and options available for walk-in or drive-through testing by appointment. We understand that testing may be inconvenient for you, but your cooperation ensures that we can take the best care of you during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What happens if my COVID-19 test is positive?

Your procedure may need to be postponed if your test is positive. If your physician has an urgent reason to complete your procedure, we will take a series of special precautions to provide the care you need while helping protect staff members and other patients.

Thank you for helping us keep you and others safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We appreciate your support of our policies, and we look forward to treating you.

Learn about our guidelines for all procedures and surgeries Learn more about our COVID-19 testing and care

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