Visitor Policy

Patient Visitation

All patients at Emory Healthcare are entitled to receive visitors that the patient designates including, but not limited to, family members, friends, a spouse, or domestic partner (including a same sex domestic partner) for emotional support during the course of their stay, unless their presence interferes with others' rights, safety or is medically contraindicated.

Patients are able to withdraw or deny such consent at any time. Visitors designated by the patient (or support person, where appropriate) do not have to be legally related to the patient and shall enjoy visitation privileges that are no more restrictive than those that immediate family members would enjoy.

Masking Guidelines 

As of August 2023, Emory Healthcare's masking guidelines are as follows:

  • The decision to wear a mask is now OPTIONAL in many public areas of EHC hospitals and clinics (including nursing stations, waiting rooms, lobbies, hallways, and elevators) for ALL staff/providers, patients, care partners, and visitors.
  • The decision to wear a mask is now OPTIONAL for team members providing direct patient care in the ambulatory setting EXCEPT for those working in high-risk areas. 
  • This change is in response to the continuing low prevalence of COVID in our community. Those who wish to continue masking should do so, and we must all be respectful of those choices. If you are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms even if you have received a negative test, please wear a medical grade mask to protect those around you.
  • Please note that masking requirements remain in place as follows:
    • All staff/providers, patients, care partners and visitors if they have symptoms of a respiratory illness.
    • All staff/providers, patients, care partners and visitors in areas that care for patients who are immunocompromised or are otherwise at increased risk of COVID and/or severe disease, as determined and posted by each patient care area. Updated signage will be posted once available.
    • During direct patient contact by all staff and providers in inpatient areas. 

Visitation Guidance for Care Partners of Patients

A few years ago, we had to make the difficult decision to significantly restrict visitors in our hospitals and clinics to protect our patients and staff due to COVID-19. Thank you to everyone who helped reinforce the policy to ensure a safe environment. We are pleased to share that we have modified our visitor policy, which eliminates many of the restrictions previously in place. Please read below for details and check with your operating unit for any specific visitation policies based on patient population.

  • Hospitalized Patients: Visitors accommodated.
  • Hospital Surgery and Procedures: Visitors accommodated.
  • Ambulatory Surgery Centers: Encouraged to limit to one visitor throughout the visit.
  • Imaging Tests and Procedures: Encouraged to limit to one visitor throughout the visit.
  • Outpatient Appointments (including Winship and Lab): Encouraged to limit to one visitor throughout the visit.
  • Emergency Department: Restricted to one visitor throughout the visit.
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation and Long Term Acute Care Settings: Restricted to two visitors at one time and all visitors must be over the age of 12.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Special Care Nurseries: Restricted to two visitors at one time.
  • Inpatient Obstetrics/ Labor and Delivery: Visitors accommodated at the patient’s preference and sleeping accommodations for one visitor.
  • End of Life/Hospice: Visitors accommodated.
  • Minors: Limited visitation for visitors under 12 years of age and all minors under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

Thank you to everyone for your flexibility and support. Our patients, visitors, and colleagues are better served because of the tireless work of each of you – thank you!