Novel coronavirus information

January 4, 2022

Clarification on non-urgent surgeries and procedures | Testing for COVID-19 (Message to UW Medicine patients)

This message was sent to UW Medicine patients.

To Our Valued Patients and Their Families:

We have additional guidance regarding UW Medicine’s decision to postpone some non-urgent surgeries and procedures due to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the community. As we stated in our announcement on December 31, our physicians and operational teams are reviewing each case and will only reschedule those that are impacted by either staffing or hospital bed capacity and can safely be postponed to a later date.

Here is what you can expect:

  • If your scheduled non-urgent surgery or procedure is impacted by either staffing or hospital bed capacity and can be safely postponed, we will contact you directly as soon as possible.
  • We will also contact you directly to reschedule any procedure that was postponed recently when the Surgery Pavilion at UW Medical Center – Montlake was temporarily closed.
  • Due to very high phone volumes, please do not call our hospitals and clinics or your care teams to check on the status of your scheduled appointments. We will be contacting you.
  • In summary, if you do not hear from our operational teams, the date for your surgery or procedure will not change. Be sure to follow the pre-operative instructions that you have been given regarding diet, medications and other preparations.

Testing for COVID-19

Due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in our community, our UW Medical Center – Northwest and Harborview Medical Center test sites are only testing patients for pre-procedure and pre-surgery as directed by their care team.

You can find other UW Medicine and community sites for COVID-19 Testing on our website, but please note that these sites are focusing on individuals who are symptomatic or who have a known exposure to a person with COVID-19.

  • If you have symptoms of respiratory illness and a positive home antigen test, you do not need to get tested at one of our sites to confirm the result.
  • If you are otherwise healthy with mild symptoms and cannot find testing availability, you should presume that you have COVID-19 and self-isolate according to current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Your health and access to timely services continue to be our top priorities during this pandemic. Thank you for choosing UW Medicine for your care, and we appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we continue to respond to the increased number of COVID-19 cases in our community.


Lisa Brandenburg
President, UW Medicine Hospitals & Clinics
Vice President for Medical Affairs
University of Washington

Timothy H. Dellit, MD
Chief Medical Officer, UW Medicine
Vice President for Medical Affairs,
University of Washington and
President, UW Physicians