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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: 2:34PM June 14, 2021

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.


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


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 visitation policy (see below for specifications).

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 around the region to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Face Mask Requirement
Please note that all visitors are required to wear either a homemade or surgical face mask 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 Hospital Entrances:

5 a.m. - 8 p.m. – All regular hospital entrances are unlocked and accessible to the public.

After 8 p.m. – Public access points include:

  • Adult and Children’s Hospital Emergency Departments
  • Main Baroness Hospital Entrance from Level 1 Parking Garage, leading to the Gift Shop
  • Main Children’s Hospital Entrance from Level 1 of Parking Garage

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 6:30AM 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:

Visitor Badge - Visitors will be directed to Concierge Desk to obtain visitor badge which must be visibly worn during visitation. Baroness and Children’s Hospitals visitor badges have a color identifier that changes daily. 

  • Inpatient Visitation 
    • Erlanger Baroness, Bledsoe, and East Hospital Patients - ONE visitor will be allowed per 24-hour period arriving after 7AM and before 8PM.  For overnight stay, visitor must arrive by 8PM and stay in the patient's room until 7AM. If visitor leaves before 7AM, they will not be allowed to re-enter.
    • Erlanger North Hospital - ONE visitor will be allowed per day between the hours of 8AM and8 PM.
    • Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital Patients - ONE visitor will be allowed per day between the hours of 1PM and 5PM.
    • Minors, under age 18, at Children’s Hospital and Erlanger Western Carolina may have up to three visitors (parent or guardian) with option for overnight stay, but only two allowed at the bedside at a time.
  • ICU patients may have one visitor during the approved visitation hours of 4PM – 8PM.
  • Obstetric patients may have three support people during the entire time at the facility but only two are allowed at bedside. Support visitors can switch out with another person, but are not to exceed the approved three support people.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients 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 than two allowed at bedside.
  • Emergency Department – Emergency patients at Erlanger Baroness, East, North, Bledsoe, Sequatchie, and Western Carolina Emergency Departments may have one visitor. Pediatric patients at Children’s Hospital and Western Carolina Emergency Departments may have two caregivers. End-of-Life patients can have TWO visitors if approved by Emergency Department Management.
  • 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 visitors.
  • Adult Surgical Services/ Procedures: Erlanger Baroness, East and Western Carolina Hospitals surgery patients may have one visitor. Children’s Hospital Surgery patients may have two caregivers.

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 directly.

Visitors cannot swap unless otherwise noted. Once a visitor leaves they will not be allowed reentry unless prior approval has been granted. 

Visitors may bring one small bag with one set of clothing for discharge and toiletry items for patient.

Flower & Balloon deliveries are accepted at the Information Desk. Flowers are not allowed in the ICU. Visitors may bring flowers or balloons with them to the patient room. 

At any time, Erlanger Management reserves the right to remove visitors or deny visitation.

Due to the changing nature of COVID-19’s presence in Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina, this policy will be revised accordingly.

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 -  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.



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.