Hospitals relax visitation restrictions

Sandra ClarkOur Town Health

The Knoxville area’s four hospital systems have collaborated over the past few months to monitor and address the evolving COVID-19 impact on the region. In response to the steadily increasing number of COVID-19 cases here, Covenant Health, Tennova Healthcare and The University of Tennessee Medical Center have decided to update current visitation policies for the health and safety of patients, team members and the community.

Visitation policies at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital will not change due to the nature of the patients served there. Additionally, the current visitation restrictions at the health systems’ skilled nursing facilities or behavioral health units will not change.

The updated visitor restrictions for Covenant Health, Tennova Healthcare and The University of Tennessee Medical Center include:

  • Each patient may have one designated visitor for the duration of their appointment, procedure or
    hospital stay.
  • It must be the same visitor the entire time.
  • Visitation is contingent upon wearing cloth face covering or mask.
  • Visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, including temperature checks.

These visitor restrictions apply to all inpatient and outpatient locations and clinics, including doctors’ offices both on- and off-campus. There are a few exceptions:

  • Women giving birth may have two support people and a certified doula during labor and delivery. After delivery, mom’s same two support people can visit for the remainder of her stay.
  • Both parents of babies in the NICU may visit at the same time for the duration of baby’s stay.
  • Some patients, including those with positive or pending COVID-19 test results, may not be allowed to have a visitor.

In addition to the updated visitor restrictions, area hospitals are asking the community to partner with them to slow the spread of COVID-19 by following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. When outside your home:

  • Wear face coverings/masks
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Practice hand hygiene

Additional details about visitation can be found on each of the hospital organizations’ website:,, or


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *