Current COVID-19 Visitor Policies

Everyone at Vanderbilt Health is committed to keeping our patients, visitors, doctors, nurses and other safe.

We value the important role that support by loved ones plays in healing and recovery. Restricting visitation during this pandemic remains one of the most difficult decisions we've had to make. We continue to evaluate and adjust policies as pandemic conditions change.

These policies are in place for everyone, including those who have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine.

At All Locations

  • Masks are required for everyone in patient care buildings. This includes waiting areas, and applies even if you've been vaccinated. Even in counties considered at low or medium risk for COVID, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to call for wearing masks in health care settings to protect patients.
     
  • You shouldn't visit a patient or accompany them to a clinic appointment or procedure if you have a fever or other symptoms of illness. This is the same as before the COVID-19 pandemic. Our patients are relying on everyone to be honest and conscientious about this.

Note that visiting hours and other details may differ by location. Please discuss visiting hours and details with hospital staff. Below, you'll see specific restrictions by location.

Updated March 14, 2022

    • 2 visitors may be in a patient's room, including the Intensive Care Units, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. With the exception of the Emergency and Trauma departments, 1 visitor may be age 12 or older if accompanied by an adult (age 18 or older).
       
    • 1 adult visitor (age 18 or older) may be in the patient's room after 9 p.m. and overnight.
       
    • Up to 4 adult visitors may be present if the care team has determined the patient is nearing the end of their life.
       
    • Visitors may swap off with each other. To prevent overcrowding in waiting areas, "visitor exchange" must occur outside the hospital.
       
    • 1 adult visitor (age 18 or older) may be in a COVID-19 patient room between the hours of 1p.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors must wear appropriate PPE for the duration of their visit.
       
    • See below for specific information for the emergency department and labor and delivery.

    Updated Dec. 17, 2021.

  • Information and policies for visitors of patients in the Vanderbilt University Hospital Emergency Department, effective 3.4.22:

    • 1 visitor per patient is permitted during triage and in the ED waiting room. (This should be the person who is most qualified to provide valuable patient information and assist in decision-making if needed.) We ask that you do not swap out visitors while in the ED waiting room.
    • 2 visitors per patient may wait in the main hospital waiting room (staff at ED entrance can provide information to access this area).
    • 2 visitors at a time per patient are permitted when patient is placed in a private room; 1 visitor at a time per patient is permitted when patient is placed in a hallway treatment space.
    • Visitors of patients in private rooms and hall beds MAY swap out, but we ask that 1 visitor exit via the main ED entrance before another enters.
    • No visitors are permitted in CFU or IWR (multi-patient treatment areas), but 1 visitor may remain in the ED waiting room.
    • No visitors are permitted for patients in EMS Offload, but 1 visitor may remain in the ED waiting room.
    • One visitor total per patient is now permitted for most COVID+ and suspected patients, once they have been placed in a private room. This visitor will be required to leave if they do not strictly adhere to masking policy, and are asked to only exit room if they are exiting the building. We do ask that visitors for COVID patients not swap out. (If a COVID test completed in this ED results as NEGATIVE, visitors will be permitted as previously defined.)
    • Hospital policy dictates that visitors under the age of 16 are not permitted in this department. (This differs from some adult hospital inpatient units, who allow visitors as young as 12 years of age.)
    • Both medical and security staff have the right to limit or revoke visitation rights when necessary for purposes of optimizing medical care and/or safety of all individuals in the department.
    • Limited text updates can be set up by triage staff, as appropriate, to keep both patients and visitors updated of progress while waiting for placement in a treatment area.

    These visitor policies are specific to the Adult Emergency Department only. Should your loved one be admitted to the hospital and transferred to an inpatient room on another unit, you should seek clarification on unit-specific visitor policies from staff on the admitting unit.

    Updated 4.26.22

  • In the Children's Hospital (including the Emergency Department) 

    • When your child is admitted, you will select 2 parent-approved visitors (PAVs) who may stay with your child. Only those 2 people may visit.
       
    • PAVs in the hospital will receive wristbands to identify them. PAVs in the Emergency Department will get stickers for identification.
       
    • The PAVs must be screened daily for fever or other symptoms or exposure to COVID-19.
       
    • They also must always wear masks, and visitation may be ended if masks are not worn.
       
    • PAVs must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer when they enter or leave the patient room.
       
    • PAVs must maintain physical distancing (6 feet apart).
       
    • PAVs must remain in the room, with only 1 going to get food, for instance.
       
    • PAVs who stay overnight should arrive before 8 p.m. and will be re-screened by nursing staff the following morning. 

    Guidelines for Visitors/Caregivers for COVID-Positive Patients

    • When your child is admitted, you (parent or guardian) will designate 2 parent-approved visitors (PAVs) who may visit the patient. Only those 2 people may visit unless circumstances meet criteria for an approved exception. These PAVs are given a wristband with "PG" in it to identify them. 
       
    • PAVs for COVID-positive patients must remain in the patient's room.
       
    • PAVs must always wear a mask when staff and providers are in the room. Failure to do so result in ending visitation privileges. 
       
    • PAVs must maintain distancing (6 feet, to the best of their ability), even in the patient room. 
       
    • PAVs must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer regularly. 
       
    • The parent/guardian with each COVID-positive patient receives 3 free meals each day. Call 615-936-4780 to receive meals. 

    Visitation in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

    • In the case of twins, 2 parents/guardians can be present in the NICU with each child, 2 at each bedside.
       
    • While the mother is in the hospital for post-partum care, she and another parent/guardian or designated support person may visit. However, visitation may be restricted to 1 person at the bedside depending on activity in the unit.
       
    • In case of mothers/parents with a C-section or other physical challenge, situation-specific exceptions may be made.

    Day of Surgery

    • 2 parents/caregivers are welcome to be with your child in the holding room before and the recovery room after surgery. These caregivers must:
       
      • Pass COVID symptom/exposure screening.
         
      • Wear masks at all times (and staff may end visitation if they are not wearing a mask).
         
      • Maintain social distancing (6 feet apart).
         
      • Wash their hands or use hand sanitizer when entering or leaving the room.
         
    • If your child is admitted to the hospital, you will be asked to identify 2 parent-approved visitors who can be with the child.

    Pediatric outpatient clinics and doctor's offices

    • 2 visitors can be with the child in these settings. 

    Updated Oct. 14, 2021.

    • Patients may have 2 visitors in the facility at a time.
       
    • No visitors are allowed for patients with COVID-19.
       

    Updated Oct. 14, 2021.

  • Patients admitted to the hospital may have 2 visitors. These visitors can visit at the same time and should enter through the North Tower Entrance. Visiting hours are 7am-9pm.

    Visitors for Women's Services should enter through the Women's Pavillion Entrance 5am-9pm.

    Inpatients with COVID may have 1 visitor each day from 2pm-5pm.

    Other patients may have 1 visitor. This includes patients in outpatient clinics, the Emergency Department, and those who are having surgery or other procedures

    Updated Dec. 20, 2021.

  • SURGERY

    • 2 visitors per patient
    • Visitors must remain with patient or follow the guidance of staff and/or physician
    • Patient and family should bring a mask with them

    Medical / Surgical Unit

    • 2 visitors may be in a patient’s room from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • 1 visitor may stay in a patient’s room after 9 p.m. and overnight
    • People who are COVID positive or who awaiting test results for COVID may have 1 visitor outside of the room from 1 pm. to 3 p.m.

    Intensive Care Unit

    • 1 visitor may be in a patient’s room from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • 1 visitor may stay in a patient’s room after 9 p.m. and overnight *
    • People who are COVID positive or who awaiting test results for COVID may have 1 visitor outside of the room from 1 pm to 3 p.m.

    EMERGENCY SERVICES

    • 1 visitor per patient.
    • Patients age 17 and younger may have 2 parents or guardians in the room
    • Visitors must remain with patient in the exam room at all times and follow the guidance of staff and/or physician
    • No visitors with adult patients who are COVID positive or being tested for COVID

    OUTPATIENT SERVICES (at the hospital)

    • 2 visitors per patient

    VANDERBILT BEDFORD CLINICS

    • 1 visitor, parent or guardian with each patient
    • Visitors must remain with patient at all times and follow the guidance of staff and/or provider

    Updated March 14, 2022

    • 2 visitors allowed in a patient's room, including in the Critical Care Unit, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.  
       
    • 1 visitor permitted in the patient's room overnight, after 9 p.m.
       
    • Up to 4 visitors allowed in the patient's room at end of life.
       
    • Only 1 visitor per patient allowed in the Emergency Department or outpatient clinics.
       
    • Birthing mothers may have 1 support person, who can remain overnight, and 1 visitor.
       
    • No visitors are allowed with patients who have COVID-19.

    Updated Oct. 14, 2021

  • Because of the special needs of pregnant and birthing mothers, there a few specific different steps we're taking for prenatal visits and labor and delivery at Vanderbilt Health and Vanderbilt Birth Center. Otherwise, the same policies apply as do for other patients.

    • Prenatal visits: We encourage telehealth prenatal appointments when possible. When an in-person appointment is required, one visitor may accompany the mother. Both must be screened before each visit. This is also true when you come to an ultrasound at a Vanderbilt location.

    Vanderbilt Birth Center practices differ slightly:

    • Prenatal appointment policy can be found here.
       
    • Please speak with your birth center provider for guidance on masking and visitors during labor, overnight and mother-baby care.

    Updated October 14, 2021.

  • The CDC has lowered the risk category for counties in Middle Tennessee. As a result, effective March 9, 2022, patients may have 2 visitors in an ambulatory setting (clinic, outpatient surgery or procedure).