Beginning Wednesday, April 22, Women & Babies Hospital will test all laboring women for COVID-19. Testing is now more readily available and obstetric patients can be asymptomatic carriers of the virus. This information is valuable to plan for the health and safety of all of the mothers and newborn babies in our care.

Below are some possible questions related to these changes:

What if I have a scheduled C-section or induction?

Your OB/GYN provider will provide you with an order for a COVID-19 test that should be completed 2-3 days before your scheduled admission time. You may get your test at the LG Health Downtown Pavilion or any one of our Urgent Care locations. Reserve your spot online in advance to minimize waiting, and don’t forget to take your physician’s order with you.

  • What happens if my test results are negative?
    You will proceed with your planned admission and will receive routine obstetrical care.

  • What happens if my test results are positive?
    If your results are positive, your provider will decide whether to proceed with or delay your planned admission. If your admission continues as planned, the staff at Women & Babies Hospital are prepared to keep you and your baby safe and well cared for while protecting the other patients and staff.

What happens if I go into labor on my own?

When you get to the hospital, a COVID-19 test will be administered in triage. The nurse caring for you will collect a sample using a swab of the back of the nose or throat. In most cases, the results of this test will be known within 2 hours.

  • What happens if my test results are negative?
    Your care will continue in a routine way.
  • What happens if my test results are positive?
    Staff will take extra precautions to maintain the safety of you and your baby, and prevent exposure to other patients and staff.

If I test positive, will my baby and I be separated after birth?

The decision about how to care for you and your baby may be based on if you are sick or have symptoms, as this may affect the baby’s risk. Your provider will help you make these care decisions. Your baby will also be tested at around 24 hours of age to help guide you and your family with discharge care and planning.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) does recommend the separation of the baby and mother for the health and safety of both, this is not unique to Women and Babies or Lancaster. Whether or not to separate you and your newborn will be a shared discussion between you and your healthcare team, though you will have the final say. If separation is recommended, your baby will be cared for by our well-trained and compassionate nursing staff. The health and safety of both you and your baby is our number one priority.

What if I decline the COVID-19 test?

After a discussion about the risks and benefits of your choice, your decision will be respected. Your healthcare team will take extra precautions to protect themselves from the potential risk while caring for you.

Will my support person be tested?

No, though he or she will be screened according to symptoms and temperature, given a mask and required to wear it the entire time they are present. This is in an effort to preserve availability of tests for all of our patients throughout our healthcare system.

How are doctors, nurses and other staff being tested?

Doctors, nurses and other staff are screened according to symptoms and temperature every day before entering the facility. All staff are also masked the entire time they are here. Staff that may have been exposed to a patient or other person at risk for COVID-19 will self-quarantine at home for 14 days past their possible exposure.

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