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Knoxville hospitals update visitor policies

Knoxville area hospitals released a joint change to visitation policies Friday.
The University of Tennessee Medical Center was mentioned in the US News Best Hospital report. / Source: (UT Medical Center)
The University of Tennessee Medical Center was mentioned in the US News Best Hospital report. / Source: (UT Medical Center)(WVLT)
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 4:53 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Knoxville area hospitals released a joint change to visitation policies Friday.

According to the release, Covenant Health, Tennova Healthcare and the University of Tennessee Medical Center said they would be updating their current visitation policies “in response to the steadily increasing number of COVID-19 cases in our area.”

The updated policies 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 our 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. o 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.

The release said that current visitation policies for skilled nursing facilities or behavioral health units won’t change.

It added that visitor policies for the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital “will not change due to the nature of the patients served there.”

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