Updated COVID-19 Restricted Visitor Policy

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. Significantly restricting visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most difficult decisions we've had to make.

We're hopeful as the number of people in our region who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 grows. Until we've reached a level of "community immunity" with high rates of vaccination, patients in the hospital remain at risk of life-threatening infection by the coronavirus and its variants. 

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 here. 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.

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 June 1, 2021.

    • 2 adult visitors may be in a patient's room, including the Intensive Care Units, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
       
    • 1 adult visitor 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.
       
    • Each patient in our Emergency Department may have 1 adult with them because of space limitations.
       
    • Visitors may swap off with each other. To prevent overcrowding in waiting areas, "visitor exchange" must occur outside the hospital. 
       
    • No visitors are allowed in COVID-19 patient rooms at any time.
       
    • See below for specific information for labor and delivery.

    Updated July 6, 2021.

  • In the Children's Hospital and 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. 

    Visitation in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

    • In the case of twins, 2 parents/guardians can be present in the NICU at one time, 1 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. 

     

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

    Updated June 1, 2021.

    • No visitors are allowed for patients with COVID-19.
       
    • Patients admitted to the hospital (including labor and delivery) may have 2 visitors. These visitors can visit at the same time and should enter through the Emergency Department entrance.
       
    • Other patients may have 1 visitor. This includes patients in outpatient clinics, the emergency department and those surgery or other procedures.

    Updated April 12, 2021.

    • A single visitor may be permitted, on a case-by-case basis, for patients with COVID-19.
       
    • All other visitors may have 1 visitor per hospital stay.

    Updated April 29, 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 June 9, 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 baby+co. 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.

          Baby+co.’s prenatal appointments differ slightly, and the full policy can be found here.

    • Doulas and partners during labor and at birth: 2 adults at one time and 1 certified doula may be present in labor and delivery in Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital and baby+co. (subject to screening). The adult "visitors" may swap out as long as they do so outside the hospital (so we don't overcrowd waiting areas).
       
    • COVID-19 positive patient: 1 visitor/partner (in addition to a doula, as appropriate).
       
    • Overnight: 1 adult partner/visitor is allowed after 9 p.m.
       
    • Masks: All patients are expected to wear masks except when alone in their room, while eating or sleeping. We know wearing a mask during labor can be difficult. If you have specific concerns, discuss them with your provider. Newborns are not masked.
       
    • Mother-Baby Care: Newborns remain with mothers except when rare circumstances, such as severe illness or fever, make it safer for babies to be separated.  Breastfeeding is encouraged after appropriate hand and chest hygiene.

    Updated April 27, 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.