How We're Responding to COVID-19

Updated 2/22/21

We have changed our visitor and Care Partner policy effective Monday, February 22, 2020, due to the high prevalence of COVID-19 in the community. No visitors are allowed at Emory Healthcare facilities at this time; however, some exceptions apply.

To help you quickly understand our visitor and Care Partner restrictions during this pandemic, we've created a tiered graphic. We are currently at Tier 2, a moderate restriction level.


Inpatient Care (Admitted to the hospital to stay overnight)

In special circumstances, we welcome a family member or trusted friend to serve as a Care Partner—a person that actively participates in the patient's care. A Care Partner must be approved by the inpatient care team after the patient is admitted.

Below are the criteria of when a Care Partner may be approved:

  • End of life and palliative care (Clergy may be allowed in addition to the Care Partner)
  • Inpatient obstetrics
  • Minors under the age of 18
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Patients with behavioral or mental health difficulties
  • Patients with communication barriers that cannot be resolved with interpretation services
  • Patients with clinical status changes
  • Patients receiving inpatient oncology treatment
  • Before a patient’s high-risk surgery
  • Please speak with your inpatient care team about additional exceptions

Outpatient Care (Not admitted, typically go home the same day)

Patients receiving outpatient care may NOT have visitors. Exceptions are limited to:

  • Outpatient Surgery – One visitor is allowed during the check-in process and must leave the building after providing their phone number, so they may be called to pick up the patient after the procedure.
  • Emergency Department – One visitor is allowed for patients with cognitive, behavioral, or communication disabilities where a family member is key to their care or minors under the age of 18.
  • Those Needing Help – Patients with an appointment at an outpatient clinic, laboratory, or imaging center who need physical or behavioral assistance, may have one visitor.
  • Please speak with your care team about additional exceptions.

General Guidance

  • All allowed visitors and Care Partners will be screened for symptoms or a recent diagnosis of COVID-19.
  • Visitors and Care Partners must wear a face mask throughout the duration of their visit.
  • Visitors and Care Partners must follow proper infection prevention practices, including masking, hand washing/sanitizing, and physical distancing.
  • No visitors under the age of 16 are permitted.
  • Family, friends, and loved ones are encouraged to use electronic devices to connect with patients (i.e., smartphones, tablets, FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, etc.).