Abnormal Pap/HPV Report During COVID-19 Pandemic? Interim Guidance from ASCCP

NOTE: Information and guidelines may change rapidly. Check in with listed references in ‘Learn More – Primary Sources’ to best keep up to date


ACOG and other societies have recommended modification of gynecologic office visits and surgical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary goals are to protect patient health and also limit viral transmission to professional and office staff. ASCCP provides recommendations specific to the management of abnormal cervical cancer screening tests and provides the following guidance

If Practicing in a Setting Where Elective Procedures Have been Suspended

  • Low-grade cervical cancer screening result
    • May postpone diagnostic evaluation up to 6 to 12 months
  • High-grade cervical cancer screening result
    • Document attempts to contact and schedule diagnostic evaluation within 3 months


  • High-grade cervical disease without suspected invasive disease
    • Document attempts to contact and schedule procedure within 3 months
  • With suspected invasive disease
    • Attempt contact within 2 weeks
    • Evaluate within 2 weeks of that contact (i.e., 4 weeks from the initial report or referral)


  • ASCCP states that the above should not be considered “definitive management guidelines”, but rather management should take into account the clinical scenario and review “case-by-case”
  • Guidelines may change due to current “fluidity of the healthcare environment”
  • Tracking protocols are still necessary so that when routine care is reinstated, patients can be traced and called back for care
  • The guideline further states that ASCCP Colposcopy Standards should be used once the pandemic is contained (see ‘Learn More – Primary Sources’ below for Colposcopy Standards)

Learn More – Primary Sources:

ASCCP Interim Guidance for Timing of Diagnostic and Treatment Procedures for Patients with Abnormal Cervical Screening Tests

ASCCP Colposcopy Standards