Erlanger Health System Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 Self-Checker

The CDC, WHO, and state health departments are the definitive sources for updated and accurate information.


UPDATED: 3:50PMM September, 21 2020

JUMP TO:  Testing  |  What to Do  |  Visitor Policy   |  Operations  |  Donations  |  Plasma Donations


Read the most recent joint announcement from all three local health systems and the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society.


Testing

Similar to other infectious diseases—like the flu—the Coronavirus test is not available on request at Erlanger Health System. Individuals will need an evaluation by a health care provider, urgent care center, or emergency room before a test is ordered. 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. 

For more information about COVID-19 testing, please contact the appropriate state screening hotline:

Alabama Public Health: 888-264-2256
Georgia Department of Public Health: 844-442-2681
Hamilton County Health Department: 423-209-8383
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services: 866-462-3821
Tennessee Department of Health: 877-857-2945

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

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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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Visitor Policy

Alert - Limited Hospital and Clinic Patient Visitor Policy

Erlanger Health System is currently under a limited Hospital and Clinic Patient Visitor Policy. All Erlanger hospitals will limit hospital visitors.

The revised policy will be in place until the transmission of the novel coronavirus, 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, houses of worship, venues, and other health systems to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Screening and Masks
Please note that all visitors will be screened at the entrances and are required to wear either a homemade or surgical face mask during their visit. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own mask. However, a surgical mask will be provided if they do not have one dependent upon supply availability; if supplies are not sufficient to maintain, visitors without a surgical mask will not be permitted visitation.

If you are ill
Visitors will not be allowed if they have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath).

Minors
Children under age 16 will not be allowed except under extraordinary circumstances.


Baroness and Children’s Hospitals Entrances:

Entrances - Visitors for Baroness Hospital must enter from the main parking garage entrance that leads to the gift shop.  Visitors for Children’s Hospital must enter through the Children’s Hospital parking garage entrance. Visitors who enter through the emergency department to visit an inpatient will be directed to the entry points for screening.


For all Erlanger Health System Hospitals unless otherwise noted:

After Screening - Visitors will be directed to Concierge Desk to obtain visitor badge which must be visibly worn during visitation.

  • Inpatient Visitation - Patients at Baroness, Bledsoe, East, and North Hospitals may have one visitor during the scheduled visitation hours.  A patient’s visitor cannot switch with another visitor during the visitation period. Visitation hours are from 11AM – 3PM.  Patients at Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital may have one visitor per day, age 16 and over, between the hours of 1PM and 5PM. Minors, under age 18, at Children’s Hospital may have two visitors (parent or guardian) with option for overnight stay.
  • Obstetric patients at East and Baroness Hospitals may have one support person during the entire time at the facility. Support visitors cannot switch out with another person during visitation period.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients at East and Children’s Hospitals may have one birth parent plus one significant other who must remain at the bedside for the duration of the visit.
  • Baroness Hospital, Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital, and Sequatchie Valley Emergency Departments have a no visitor policy.  Visitation approval will be done on a case-by-case basis, i.e. end of life patients, and will be determined by emergency department management.  East and North Hospitals Emergency Departments will allow one visitor per patient unless otherwise determined by the emergency departments.
  • 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 one visitor.
  • Adult Surgical Services/ Procedures:
    • Outpatient Surgery: One visitor allowed once patient arrives to their discharge room and is ready for discharge instructions.
    • Inpatients Surgery: After procedure is completed and patient arrives to assigned inpatient room, above inpatient visitation hours will be followed. No visitors will be allowed preoperatively.
    • Cath Procedures: One visitor allowed once patient arrives to Short Stay area for recovery and discharge.

No visitors will be allowed for patients who have a pending or positive COVID-19 test.

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 are currently not allowed.

Due to the changing nature of COVID-19’s presence in Eastern Tennessee, this policy will be revised accordingly in response to circumstances.


For more information regarding hospital visitation policies, please contact the facility below.

Baroness Hospital
975 East Third Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
423-778-7000

Children's Hospital at Erlanger
910 Blackford Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
423-778-6011

Erlanger East Hospital
1751 Gunbarrel Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421
423-680-8000

Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital
3990 E. US Hwy. 64 Alt.
Murphy, NC 28906
828-837-8161

Erlanger North Hospital
632 Morrison Springs Rd.
Chattanooga, TN 37415
423-778-3300

Erlanger Bledsoe Hospital
71 Wheelertown Ave.
Pikeville, TN 37367-5246
423-447-2112

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Operations

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.

Online scheduling

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 -  will continue its normal hours of operation; however, delivery service will no longer be offered.

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.

As required by Erlanger employees, visitors will also be required to wear masks while selecting food items and during payment.

Social distancing practices will remain in effect in our dining areas.  The Atrium dining area in the Baroness Bistro has re-opened, allowing for more seating and spacing between tables and diners.  Food trays will continue to be available to visitors in patient rooms, at a charge of $5.49-plus tax for visitor food trays delivered to patient rooms.

Starbucks - Monday – Friday, 6AM – 2PM, Saturady and Sunday, 6AM – 11AM. Seating remains closed in this area until further notice. 

The Hour Place Restaurant, located on the ground floor of the Whitehall Building on E. 3rd Street, is closing for business, effective Thursday, March 19. There will be no more food, delivery, or catering service until further notice.

Chicken Salad Chick in the Medical Mall is open Monday – Friday 10AM – 3PM for carry-out and dine-in.

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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Donations

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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