Test all surgical patients for COVID-19, anesthesiologists urge

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Patients undergoing surgery or other medical procedures should get tested for COVID-19 within three days of their procedure, regardless of their vaccination status, two anesthesiologist groups said in updated guidelines released Aug. 4. 

The American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation issued the recommendation, which applies to all patients undergoing anesthesia, surgery or other procedures with the potential to generate aerosols. 

The anesthesiologist groups said the update reflects the CDC's recent finding that fully vaccinated people who experience breakthrough infections can potentially transmit the virus.

If a patient tests positive for COVID-19, elective procedures should be delayed until the individual is no longer infectious, the groups said. 

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