Skip to main content

Effective May 29, 2024, Harborview Medical Center and UW Medical Center will discontinue routine inpatient COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) admission testing for asymptomatic patients.

Testing will continue to be performed at the discretion of treating providers/staff for symptomatic inpatients and/or as recommended by Infection Prevention and Control (IPC). As a reminder, surveillance testing was discontinued in February and remains orderable for select populations through the COVID order panel in EPIC.

Why are we making this change?

  • This is an evidence-based change supported by national infection prevention societies and other groups.
  • Admission and surveillance testing has been a very low-yield intervention during COVID-19 waves over the last 12 months.
  • Many positive tests reflect prior infection or false positives, disrupting patient care and flow.
  • Switching to symptom-based evaluation encourages testing for other respiratory pathogens, including flu and RSV.

COVID-19 admission testing will be removed from existing order sets in EPIC on Wednesday, May 29. If there are any order sets that require updating, please notify the IPC teams. Please also monitor all patients closely for new symptoms and test promptly as needed.

Infection Prevention will continue to monitor COVID-19 related metrics including emergency department testing to help determine if UW Medicine needs to resume admission testing in the future.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to keeping our patients safe.


UW Medicine Infection Prevention Teams