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Guidelines recently recommended against routine pre-endoscopy testing for SARS-CoV-2. We retrospectively collected data from 1 January 2021 to 31 July 2022 from our endoscopy centre located in a low incidence area. In total, 46 111 endoscopies were performed based on the health-code-based triage strategy combined with two other strategies—no reverse-transcription (RT)-PCR testing before endoscopy (n=27 193) and mandatory RT-PCR testing within 1–7 days before endoscopy (n=18 918). No staff or patients were infected with SARS-CoV-2 during the study period. Benefits of pre-endoscopy RT-PCR were minor when there were no COVID-19 positive cases in the local area; we conclude that health-code-based triage together with mandatory wearing of surgical masks by staff may be sufficient in low incidence areas.
In more detail
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect all healthcare activities, its long-term impact on gastroenterological procedure volumes had been shown in many countries.1 2 A significant backlog of procedures has remained.1 2 As upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopies carry a potentially high risk of respiratory aerosols, they should be performed wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).3
In 2020, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) suggested a pretesting strategy for most …
Contributors Concept and design: ZD and DL. Acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data: ZD, SZ, HL, XS, CZ, QD, LL, XZ and LJ. Statistical analysis and drafting of the manuscript: ZD. Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: ZD. Supervision: ZD.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.