The evolution of SARS-CoV-2 from a zoonotic virus to a novel human pathogen resulted in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic. Health care delivery and infection prevention and control recommendations continue to evolve to protect the safety of health care personnel, patients, and visitors while researchers and policymakers learn more about SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. The perioperative setting is unique in that it exposes clinicians and personnel to increased risks through the invasive nature of surgical care. Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Hierarchy of Controls as a model, this article presents risk mitigation strategies for preventing the transmission of COVID-19 in the perioperative environment. The goals are to identify and eliminate potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 when surgery is necessary for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 or who have an unknown infection status.
Key words: coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), SARS-CoV-2, hierarchy of controls, aerosol-generating procedure (AGP), personal protective equipment (PPE).