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Northeast Georgia Health System updates visitation policy amid coronavirus threat
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A display at the entrance of the Northeast Georgia Medical Center North Patient Tower offers visitors tissues, mask and hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of illnesses, now including coronavirus. - photo by Scott Rogers

Update, March 30: The Northeast Georgia Health System has updated visitation policies at its hospitals to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Policies vary by location in the hospital:

  • Intensive Care Unit: No visitors. Waiting rooms are open only for special exceptions.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: No visitors. Waiting rooms are closed.
  • Patients under 18, regardless of unit: One parent or guardian allowed at a time as visitors. Waiting rooms are closed.
  • Labor and Delivery: One identified support person is allowed as a visitor for the length of the stay. Waiting rooms are closed.
  • Mother/Baby: One identified support person is allowed as a visitor for the length of the stay. Waiting rooms are closed.
  • Long-term expectant mothers: No visitors. Waiting rooms are closed.
  • Surgery and Procedures: One visitor is allowed to wait in the waiting room. Waiting rooms are open.
  • Emergency Department: No visitors. Waiting rooms are open.
  • All others (including medical, surgical, cardiac): No visitors. Waiting rooms are closed.
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation: One identified support person is allowed as a visitor for the length of the stay, at the discretion of clinical staff. Waiting rooms are closed.

Exceptions may be made for end of life or special patient needs, according to the NGHS website. Call 770-219-2998 to speak with a patient experience representative.


Update, March 17: The Northeast Georgia Health System is further restricting visitation at its hospitals to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Policies vary by location in the hospital:

  • Intensive Care Unit: No visitors. Waiting rooms are open only for special exceptions.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Only the mother and other security band holder are allowed as visitors. Waiting rooms are closed.
  • Patients under 18, regardless of unit: One parent or guardian allowed at a time as visitors. Waiting rooms are closed.
  • Labor and Delivery: One identified support person is allowed as a visitor for the length of the stay. Waiting rooms are closed.
  • Mother/Baby: One identified support person is allowed as a visitor for the length of the stay. Waiting rooms are closed.
  • Long-term expectant mothers: No visitors (significant other and child may be approved on a case-by-case basis). Waiting rooms are closed.
  • Surgery and Procedures: One visitor is allowed to wait in the waiting room. Waiting rooms are open.
  • Emergency Department: No visitors. Waiting rooms are open.
  • All others (including medical, surgical, cardiac): No visitors. Waiting rooms are closed.

Exceptions may be made for end of life or special patient needs, according to the NGHS website. Call 770-219-2998 to speak with a patient experience representative.


Previous story: Northeast Georgia Health System is limiting visitations to combat spread of the coronavirus.

In a public release Friday evening, NGHS spokeswoman Beth Downs said visitation policies were changing at all Northeast Georgia Medical Center campuses.

“To protect patients and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community, Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) is limiting visitation to patients at all Northeast Georgia Medical Center campuses – as well as Laurelwood and New Horizons Limestone and Lanier Park.” 

According to the release, visitation restrictions will vary from unit to unit based on the needs of the patients in those areas:

  • Emergency department, inpatient rooms and labor and delivery will be limited to one visitor per room and the visitor must be at least 12 years old. 

  • Neonatal Intensive Care Units are restricted to only the baby’s mother and the other NICU wristband holder.

  • No visitors will be allowed into the intensive care unit, except for end-of-life-care. 

  • New Horizons Limestone and Lanier Park have restricted visitation. 

Downs said exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. 

Visitors who are feeling sick at all should stay home and seek medical attention. 

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