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Getting answers: Do I have the right to refuse a COVID-19 test?

MADISON (WKOW) -- Not everyone wants to be tested for COVID-19.

We had a viewer write in to our sister station WKOW asking whether they had a right to refuse testing before having surgery.

We found out you can, but your surgery might be delayed.

"Depending on the surgery that you need, if someone were to refuse a COVID test, that potentially puts all of our staff at risk," said Dr. Jeff Pothof, UW Health's chief quality officer. "It requires us to use significantly more PPE than we would otherwise use, so if that procedure is something that isn't life or limb threatening, I think there's an excellent chance at least here at UW that we would postpone that procedure."

Different health care systems may have slightly different guidelines as far as testing patients before different procedures.

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