COVID-19 testing for patients

In line with Department of Health and Human Services guidelines, all patients coming for elective surgery and other procedures that require a general anaesthetic at Epworth sites in metropolitan Melbourne require COVID-19 swabbing ahead of their procedure. This includes:

  • all elective surgery (including endoscopy)
  • emergency surgery
  • IVF and maternity
  • electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and
  • carers who will be accompanying patients overnight, including paediatric patients.

In line with DHHS guidelines, Epworth Geelong patients requiring a general anaesthetic no longer require COVID-19 testing prior to their admission if they:

  • Live in regional Victoria
  • Do not work in Metropolitan Melbourne
  • Have not visited Metropolitan Melbourne in the past 14 days
  • Do not have any COVID-19 symptoms.

This is our current advice and any updates on this will be shared as soon as we have them.

Medical admissions (not involving surgery), dialysis and day-infusions do not require testing.

We request that the test be performed 72 hours prior to admission to hospital for surgery.

It is important for patients self-isolate after their test, until the time of their admission (no matter what the test results are in the interim).

If a patient is unable to self-isolate prior to surgery this should immediately be discussed with their surgeon.

If a patient is dependent on a carer, their carer should also get tested and then isolate with patient at prior to surgery.

Patient information: Isolating before your surgery (PDF, 51KB)

Further patient information can be found here including:

  • Where you can get tested*
  • Isolation before your surgery
  • Information for maternity patients

*Please note, we have had reports that some drive through testing sites have refused asymptomatic patient testing and we recommend patients use an Epworth Pre Op Testing Clinic.

If patients have their swab taken at a non-Epworth facility, they will need to call us to inform us of the result and bring validation of their swab result when they present for admission.

For any questions or advice on where to get tested, and to make an appointment, patients, caregivers and designated visitors can contact 03 9426 0666.


To ensure the safety of patients, doctors and staff, screening processes for patients will continue, including pre-admission screening, and again, on presentation to hospital.

Please see our screening requirements so you can inform your patients of the screening questions.


Please note visitor restrictions apply.

We recognise the importance of keeping patients and loved ones in contact and encourage other ways like phone, FaceTime and Skype.