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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:  9:21 PM October 18, 2021

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.


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.


Visitor Policy

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.

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 that completely covers the mouth and nose without large holes or gaps during their visit. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own mask. Depending on supply availability, a surgical mask may be provided if they do not have one; if supplies are not sufficient then visitors without a mask will not be permitted.

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 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.

Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital Entrance:
All patients, including emergency patients, and visitors must drive to the main entrance canopy of the hospital where they will be screened in their vehicle. After receiving approval to enter, they will receive an armband and be directed to their destination. This location will operate from 5:30AM to 5:00PM Monday - Friday. The ER will be the only access point all other times.

For all Erlanger Health System Hospitals unless otherwise noted:

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

Inpatient Visitation –

  • ONE (1) visitor will be allowed per 24-hour period. Visitor must arrive before 8 PM to stay the evening. Visitors will not be allowed entry until after 7 AM except for end-of-life circumstances or extraordinary circumstances.
  • A patient’s visitor cannot switch with another visitor during the 24-hour period.
  • Once a visitor leaves the hospital they will not be allowed reentry unless an exception has been made by leadership.
  • Western Carolina Hospital may have ONE (1) visitor per day for adult patients between the hours of 1 PM and 5 PM.
  • Minors, under age 18, at Children’s Hospital may have two visitors (parent or guardian) with option for overnight stay. A maximum of THREE (3) support people may be identified during the entire time in the facility, but only TWO (2) are allowed at the bedside. Support visitors may switch out but are not to exceed the maximum approved THREE (3).

ICU Patients –

  • ONE (1) visitor during visitation hours from 9 AM to 7 PM.
  • A patient’s visitor cannot switch with another visitor during visitation hours.
  • Once a visitor leaves they will not be allowed rentry until the next visitation time.
  • End-of-Life patients may have a total of FOUR (4) visitors
  • Western Carolina Hospital may have ONE (1) visitor during visitation hours from 1 PM to 5 PM
  • Obstetric patients at East and Baroness Hospitals may have TWO support people at the bedside. A maximum of THREE (3) support people during the entire time at the facility, but only TWO (2) at the bedside. Support visitors can switch out with another person but are not to exceed the approved THREE (3).
  • 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. Significant other can switch out with ONE additional support person during the visit but no more the TWO allowed at bedside.

Emergency Department –

  • Adult Emergency Department patients may have ONE (1) visitor after patient evaluation, exceptions made by Emergecy Department Mangement
  • Patients not in a room will not be allowed visitation
  • Visitors may not be interchanged during visit in Emergency Department
  • End-of-Life patients can have TWO (2) visitors if approved by Emergency Department Management.
  • Children’s Hospital Emergency Department  - patients may have TWO 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.

Adult Surgical Services/ Procedures –

  • Outpatient Surgery: ONE (1) visitor allowed
  • Inpatient Surgery: ONE (1) visitor allowed. Once patient arrives to assigned inpatient room, inpatient visitation guidelines will be followed.
  • 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.

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 –

  • 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 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.

Baroness Hospital
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



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 - 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.

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. 

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.



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


CLICK HERE for additional information regarding the coronavirus.


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.