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're welcoming family and significant others where it is safe to do so. Please help us to this by following all precautions we outline below for all our hospitals in Nashville, Lebanon, Shelbyville, Tullahoma and in our clinics across the region.

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

At All Locations

  • Masks are required for everyone inside patient care areas, including all hospitals and clinics. This is true even if you've been vaccinated. While vaccination rates have increased, the CDC continues to recommend mask-wearing in healthcare facilities to protect vulnerable patients and visitors.
  • 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.
  • At some locations, we have infrared screening devices to check individuals for fever as they enter.

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.

    • 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.

  • Our Emergency Department is seeing extremely high demand, and the safety of our patients, visitors and team members remains our highest priority.

    In order to reduce the spread of illness, the Vanderbilt Adult Hospital Emergency Department does not allow visitors for waiting room patients except when the patient’s best interest requires a caregiver.

    When a patient is assigned to an emergency department bed, they are allowed 1 visitor.

    Patients treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection are not allowed visitors while in the Vanderbilt Adult Hospital Emergency Department.  

    Caregivers as defined below will be allowed to remain with patients in the waiting room and most treatment rooms:

    • A family member to help with cognitive or mobility limitations
    • The patient is 65 years old or older
    • Parent(s) or guardian(s) of those age 22 or younger
      The patient requires translation assistance
    • Law enforcement officers working in an official capacity (including accompanying an officer injured on duty)
    • Support person of pregnant patients
    • Patients with disabilities
    • Patients receiving end-of-life care
    • At the discretion of the triage nurse (typically at emergency department entrance)

    These guidelines are subject to change at any time by the Emergency Department leadership.

    Updated December 20, 2021

  • 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. 
    • If a PAV leaves the hospital, they will be asked to not return until the following day. 
    • 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.

  • All visitors must remain with the patient at all times and follow guidance of a staff member or doctor.


    • 1 visitor can be with the patient
    • Visitors must remain with the patient or follow guidance of staff member or doctor

    Inpatient services (medical/surgical floors and ICU)

    • 1 visitor may be in a patient's room
    • Patients who are COVID positive or awaiting COVID test results may have 1 visitor outside of the room from 1 p.m.-3 p.m.

    Emergency services

    • 1 visitor per patient age 18 and older
    • 2 parents/guardians with patients age 17 and younger
    • Visitors must remain with patient in the exam room at all times and follow guidance of staff member or doctor
    • No visitors with adult patients who are COVID positive or awaiting COVID test results.

    Outpatient services and clinics

    • 1 visitor per patient of all ages.
    • Visitors must remain with patient at all times and follow guidance of staff member or doctor

    Updated Oct. 14, 2021

    • 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 (formerly Baby+Co) 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.

  • Patients may have 1 visitor with no age restrictions.

    While our inpatient visitation policy has changed, we have to limit visitors in our outpatient locations to keep people spaced at a safe distance while the coronavirus, including new more contagious forms, continues to spread in our community.