Erlanger Health System Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The CDC, WHO, and state health departments are the definitive sources for updated and accurate information.
UPDATED: 9:36AM July 11, 2023
JUMP TO: Testing | What to Do | Visitor Policy | Operations | Donations | Plasma Donations
Similar to other infectious diseases—like the flu—the Coronavirus test is not available on request at Erlanger Health System. Please contact your physician if you need more information regarding patient care and testing. If you do not have a physician, you may call Erlanger’s Community Health Centers at 778-2880 for information, screening, and to schedule an appointment.
Erlanger Emergency Departments are NOT COVID testing sites. Patients will NOT be tested for COVID unless significant symptoms are present or patient is being admitted. Click here to view Erlanger locations available for COVID-19 testing.
Other Testing Sites by State
Tennessee COVID-19 Testing Sites
Georgia COVID-19 Testing Sites
North Carolina COVID-19 Testing Sites
Alabama COVID-19 Testing Sites
COVID-19 Diagnostic Test
Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), amplified probe technique
CPT Code: 87635 | Revenue Code: 300 | Charge: $51.31
When to get tested for COVID-19
Link to CDC website with information on who should get tested and when.
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What to Do
To ensure that we have enough room, supplies, and staff to care for those who need hospital-level care—including those whose condition is unrelated to COVID-19—please follow the guidelines below.
If you are experiencing mild symptoms, please self-quarantine at home and maintain distance with others in the home who aren't experiencing symptoms. Continue these precautions until 72 hours after symptoms have resolved (typically 10–14 days).
If you have a fever greater than 100.4°F and respiratory symptoms, call your normal health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the closest urgent care center.
If you have a medical emergency and need to call 9-1-1, notify the dispatcher that you have a respiratory illness. If possible, put on a mask before help arrives.
Individuals who are elderly and/or frail are encouraged to call to reschedule any routine or non-urgent visits for at least four weeks. In addition, please stay at home and avoid crowds.
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Alert - Erlanger Baroness, Bledsoe, East, North, and Western Carolina Hospitals as well as Children’s Hospital at Erlanger have implemented a limited visitor policy.
Erlanger Health System is currently under a limited Hospital and Clinic Patient visitation policy.
The revised policy will be in place until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer perceived as a threat to patients, staff, and the community.
The decision to limit visitors was made after careful consideration of policies recently put in place at area schools, venues, and other health systems to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Erlanger Baroness, Bledsoe, East, and North - Face masks are required for visitors of COVID-19 patients. Visitation details below.
- Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital - Face masks are required for visitors of COVID-19 patients. Visitation details below.
If you are ill
Visitors will not be allowed if they have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath).
Children under age 14 will not be allowed except under extraordinary circumstances. Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital will not allow children under age 12.
Baroness and Children’s Hospitals Entrances:
Entrances - Visitors for Baroness Hospital must enter from the main parking garage “Main Entrance” that leads to the gift shop. Visitors for Children’s Hospital must enter through the Children’s Hospital parking garage entrance (opposite from Main Hospital Entrance). Visitors who enter through the Emergency Department to visit an inpatient will be directed outside to these entry points for screening.
Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital Entrance:
Visitors self-screen in the main lobby, ED, and Lab areas using a kiosk, and receive a sticker if approved.
For all Erlanger Health System Hospitals unless otherwise noted:
After Screening - Visitors will be directed to the Concierge Desk to obtain a visitor badge which must be visibly worn. Baroness and Children’s Hospitals visitor badges have a color identifier that changes daily. Approved overnight visitors for Baroness and Children’s Hospitals will receive a different badge specifying room number and “overnight visitor” identifier.
Visitation Hours: 9am – 9pm at Erlanger Baroness, Bledsoe, East, and North Hospitals.
Inpatient Visitation –
Effective April 21, 2023, all Erlanger patients hospitalized on a regular patient floor may have unlimited visitors during hospital general visitation hours, from 9AM – 9PM. This applies to both adult and pediatric patients. Overnight visitors require approval from managers or the House Supervisor.
ICU Patients –
- TWO (2) visitors during per visitation period.
- Visitation Hours
- Once a visitor leaves they will not be allowed reentry until the next visitation time.
- Visitors cannot swap out during the designated visitation times.
- End-of-Life patients may have a total of FOUR (4) visitors that can swap out.
- Western Carolina Hospital ICU patients may have TWO (2) visitor during visitation hours from 1PM to 5PM. Visitors under 14 years old will not be allowed.
Labor and Delivery (East and Baroness Hospitals) –
- Two (2) visitors are allowed at the bedside during the labor period. Visitors can switch out in the lobby area. Certified Doulas are part of the care team and do not count toward the two visitors.
Mother-Baby Unit (East and Baroness Hospitals) –
- Four (4) support people are allowed at the bedside. This can include children over age 14. Visitors can switch out in the lobby area.
- One (1) support person is allowed to stay overnight. This does not include children 14 and under.
- Children 14 and under can visit between 4 PM - 9 PM daily.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients at East and Children’s Hospitals -
- TWO (2) support people are allowed at bedside. Maximum of THREE (3) support people during the entire stay but only TWO (2) allowed at beside. Support visitor can switch out but are not to exceed the approved THREE (3) support people.
- Visitors will complete a symptom form and wellness attestation for approval to enter the unit.
Emergency Department –
- Patients at any Erlanger Emergency Department (Baroness, Children’s, East, Sequatchie Valley, and Bledsoe) may have TWO (2) visitors per patient in the room after the patient’s evaluation, placement in room and approval by Emergency Department doctor.
- ?Prior to being placed in a room, patients will be limited to ONE (1) visitor per patient at a time.
- Visitors CAN switch with another person.
- At any time, Emergency Department Management has the discretion to have visitors leave patients’ rooms or waiting room area due to number of individuals in the waiting room and /or the health and safety of patients.
- Exceptions will be approved by Emergency Department Management.
- Western Carolina Hospital Emergency patients may have ONE (1) visitor, 12 years of age or older. Patients who are minors will be allowed TWO (2) caregivers
Outpatient Services –
- Adult patients, who have an appointment at an Erlanger hospital-based clinic, laboratory, or radiology, cannot have a visitor without prior approval from the practice.
- Children’s Hospital and Kennedy Outpatient Center outpatients/ambulatory patients may have TWO (2) visitors.
- Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital – ONE (1) companion is allowed to accompany the patient and can wait in designated areas as long as social distancing can be safely maintained.
Adult Surgical Services/Procedures –
- Outpatient Surgery: ONE (1) visitor allowed.
- Inpatient Surgery: ONE (1) visitor allowed until they are able to speak to their care team at the procedure completion. Once patient arrives at inpatient room, then inpatient visitation rules apply.
- Cath Procedures: ONE (1) visitor allowed.
- Children’s Hospital Surgery: TWO (2) caregivers allowed.
- If the waiting area becomes overcrowded to the point that social distancing cannot be safely practiced visitors will be asked to wait outside the facility until overcrowding is no longer an issues as determined by the Surgical Service Management.
COVID-19 Patients – No visitors will be allowed for patients who have a pending or positive COVID-19 test.
- COVID Positive patients on the sixth (6) day of admission will be allowed ONE (1) visitor per visitation time. Visitors will be required to wear appropriate PPE including hospital issued N-95 mask, eye protection and gown.
- Visitor cannot swap with another during the same visitation block.
Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital: TWO (2) visitors per day after the visitors have passed screening, sign authorization, and must wear appropriate PPE in patient room. Visitation is limited to 15 minutes and must be scheduled with care team. Once a visitor leaves they will not be granted reentry until the next day.
Visitors must stay in the patient room and wear a mask during their entire visit. Inpatient hospital visitors can go to the cafeteria but must wear a mask the entire time and return to patient room after getting food. The Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital cafeteria is closed to the public until further notice.
Visitors may bring one small bag with one set of clothing for discharge and toiletry items for patient.
Flower and Balloon Deliveries –
- Baroness and Children's Hospitals: Flowers and balloons may be purchased through the Erlanger Auxiliary Gift Shop at the Baroness Hospital and delivered by an Erlanger employee or volunteer to a patient's room at the Baroness Hospital or Children's Hospital.
- All Erlanger Hospitals: Florists delivering flowers or balloons must leave the delivery at an Information Desk at the appropriate Erlanger hospital to be delivered by an Erlanger employee or volunteer to a patient's room.
- Visitors with flowers or balloons: Visitors may bring flowers or balloons to a patient's room during their visitation. However, the visitation policy must be followed.
- ICUs: Flowers are not allowed in the ICU.
Due to the changing nature of COVID-19’s presence in Eastern Tennessee, North Georgia, and Western North Carolina, this policy will be revised accordingly in response to circumstances.
For more information regarding hospital visitation policies, please contact the facility below.
975 East Third Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Children's Hospital at Erlanger
910 Blackford Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Erlanger East Hospital
1751 Gunbarrel Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421
Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital
3990 E. US Hwy. 64 Alt.
Murphy, NC 28906
Erlanger North Hospital
632 Morrison Springs Rd.
Chattanooga, TN 37415
Erlanger Bledsoe Hospital
71 Wheelertown Ave.
Pikeville, TN 37367-5246
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Erlanger Medical Group Appointments
In the interest of protecting our patients and staff and helping prevent the spread of COVID-19, Erlanger Medical Group offers telephone and virtual appointment opportunities for patients. If you’re interested in telemedicine options, please reach out to your physician’s office for more information. We also ask that you download the Zoom app prior to your appointment.
Express Care Offers Telehealth Visits
Erlanger Express Care walk-in medical care clinics are now offering telehealth visits. This allows you to see a provider today from the convenience of your home. Call any of our locations today to find out more.
Erlanger Resumes Elective Surgeries, Screenings
Erlanger has resumed elective surgeries following the same pre-screening protocols required for all patients entering our hospitals. Restricted visitation policies remain in place to ensure everyone’s safety and protection.
Erlanger has also resumed other inpatient healthcare services postponed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, including regular screenings such as colonoscopies and mammograms.
Prenatal Courses Offered Online
With the cancellation of Erlanger’s in-person prenatal courses due to COVID-19, we encourage all expectant moms to take advantage of YoMingo – our free online childbirth classes available via your personal computer or free app. Learn more
Breast Feeding Support Group Suspended
Erlanger Women’s Services is suspending the Breast Feeding Support Group until further notice. We hope to resume this important service soon.
Erlanger has temporarily suspended online scheduling to help our providers respond to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Please contact your provider for appointment requests.
Chattanooga Lifestyle Center
Cardio/pulmonary rehab at the Chattanooga Lifestyle Center will be closed until April 6, 2020.
Baroness (downtown) and Children's Hospital at Erlanger
CVS Pharmacy - Monday – Friday, 9AM- 6PM
The Baroness Bistro Effective May 19, visitors will once again be permitted to patronize our cafeterias on the main campus and at Erlanger East Hospital. Open 6:30 AM - 8 PM Monday through Sunday.
Starbucks - Monday – Friday, 6AM – 4PM.
Hour Place Restaurant - Monday – Friday; Breakfast: 7AM - 10:15AM; Lunch: 10:15AM - 3PM; After hours catering available 423-756-4687
Vibrant Meals - Monday – Friday; 10AM - 2PM, 24/7 Kiosk
Erlanger East Hospital
The Eastside Café at Erlanger East Hospital is open 7AM – 10PM Monday through Friday; and 7AM – 8PM Saturday and Sunday. Approved care partners may order three meal trays a day which will be delivered to the patient rooms.
Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital
There is currently limited dine-in service and bottled beverages at the EWCH cafeteria. All food is packaged and served by the staff in take-away containers. Hospital employees and authorized patient guests are allowed to obtain take-away food here.
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CLICK HERE if you would like to make a donation of supplies or a financial contribution.
Beginning Wednesday, April 8, Erlanger Health System will begin accepting donations of homemade masks from the community.
Donations will be accepted Monday – Thursday, 10AM – 2PM at Kennedy Outpatient Center. The donation cart will be placed in the valet area outside of the building with signs directing donors to the drop-off location. Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital will be accepting donations at their main entrance Monday – Friday, 8AM – 5PM.
The masks will be collected and laundered that day then given to the Command Center for distribution. At this time, we will only have one donation location, but masks will be distributed to all facilities as needed.
Masks will not be worn by clinical staff treating COVID-19 positive or suspected patients.
A recommended sewing pattern, along with suggested cloth materials, can be found below. Note - versions with and without elastic are included. Also, it is required that the fabric is 100% cotton.
Homemade Mask- Instructions.docx
Resources for how to make a homemade mask
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CLICK HERE for additional information regarding the coronavirus.
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Convalescent Plasma Donations
Have you had COVID-19 and recovered? You could save the lives of others who are critically ill in our area hospitals. COVID-19 convalescent plasma is an FDA investigational treatment where plasma is transfused from a recovered COVID-19 donor into a critically ill patient. If you have had a positive COVID-19 test result, recovered, and would like to help sick COVID-19 patients in need, please consider donating plasma with Blood Assurance. Blood Assurance is collecting, processing, and sending the donated plasma to hospitals where it will be given to patients. To donate convalescent plasma for COVID-19 patients, donors must have been officially diagnosed with COVID-19, must pass all standard requirements to give plasma, and must be symptom free for 14 days.
For more information, visit www.bloodassurance.org/covidplasma.
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