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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

You can find current information about COVID-19 and how it is affecting our state at the Tennessee Department of Health’s website. Data is updated and posted daily to their website at 3pm Eastern.

For more information, visit


Covenant Health is offering COVID-19 vaccinations to members of the community who meet state of Tennessee eligibility requirements. Visit our vaccination page to learn how to schedule your vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines are also readily available free of charge at retail drugstores, grocery pharmacies and other locations. To find a convenient location near you, visit

Visitation Policy

COVID-19 has impacted our visitation policies at hospitals, nursing homes and practices. Read our current policies on our visitation information page.

Mask Requirements

Patient Care Facilities

Beginning on the effective dates noted below, patients and visitors to Covenant Health member hospitals, outpatient care settings and physician offices will not be required to wear a mask unless:

  • You currently have any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 that are not caused by another known reason (examples: shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, loss of taste or smell)
  • You currently have a diagnosis or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19
  • Within the last 10 days, you have been exposed to anyone confirmed to have COVID-19

Patients and visitors who prefer to wear a mask may do so. Healthcare workers, including employees, physicians and volunteers, may not be required to wear a mask in their areas, but patients may kindly ask members of their care team to wear masks if the patient would like them to do so.

For Covenant Medical Group practices and other ambulatory locations (including Therapy Centers, Breast Centers, Cardiac Rehab, etc.), these guidelines take effect Monday, May 2, 2022.

For Covenant Health member hospitals and Thompson Cancer Survival Center locations, these guidelines take effect Monday, May 9, 2022.

Patients and visitors to Covenant Health’s long-term  or transitional care facilities (Claiborne Health and Rehabilitation Center, LeConte Health and Rehabilitation Center, and the Transitional Care Unit at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center) should contact the facility directly regarding masks and follow the current guidelines posted at these facilities. 

Non-Clinical Areas

Patrons, visitors and employees in non-clinical areas such as Covenant Health’s business offices, Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center, and Nanny’s are not required to wear masks.  However, any patron, visitor or employee who prefers to wear a mask may do so.

We continue to encourage people to follow other recommended steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including getting a COVID-19 vaccine if you are eligible. The vaccine is a safe and an effective way to protect the health and safety of our communities.

Elective Surgeries and Procedures

Covenant Health has nine acute care hospitals serving a 23-county region, and these hospitals are open as usual to provide safe care to our patients and communities. Each of our member hospitals reviews surgery and procedure schedules on a daily basis and if local circumstances warrant, they may delay or cancel elective procedures. Patients will be notified if there will be any delays or cancellations of their scheduled procedures.

COVID-19 Testing Locations and Pricing

Several Covenant Medical Group practices are offering COVID-19 testing for established patients. Learn which practices offer testing and view information about COVID-19 price transparency.

Meet Helen, our COVID-19 Interactive Chat Assistant

If you have questions about COVID-19, we encourage you to try Helen, our new interactive COVID-19 chat assistant. Helen can guide you through your symptoms, schedule a telehealth medical appointment,  and even call ahead to the emergency department to let them know you’re coming. Helen is available at and all hospital and medical practice websites. Learn more.

Hospital Medical Records

Because of COVID-19, the Medical Records offices at Covenant Health hospitals may be closed to walk-in visits. Please call (865) 374-5269 before visiting one of our hospital offices to see whether the location is open for walk-in visits. If you need a copy of your medical record, please call (865) 374-5269.  You can also access your medical records through MyCovenantHealth, our secure online patient portal. 

Community and Media FAQ

We know there is a heightened level of anxiety and concern about COVID-19, and we receive many questions about how our health system is managing this public health pandemic and protecting our patients and staff.

We have posted a frequently asked questions page on our website and update it regularly as the situation evolves and questions change.

Symptoms of COVID-19

  • Fever of 100 degrees or more
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath

Be sure to tell your medical provider if you, or someone you are in close contact with, have traveled to a high-risk area or have been on a cruise in the last 30 days.

  • No Symptoms

    COVID-19 symptoms may not appear for 2-14 days after exposure.

  • Mild Symptoms

    If you have mild symptoms, stay home and limit your exposure to others. Notify your healthcare provider and follow their recommendations.

  • Severe Symptoms

    If you begin to experience symptoms that are life threatening, call 911 immediately.

Prevention Methods

The same habits that help prevent the spread of the flu and common cold are the best way to help prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, too. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face and cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue or elbow.

  • Physical Contact

    The virus is believed to spread person-to-person, as close as six feet. Avoid close proximity with anyone who is sick.

  • Keep Hands Clean

    The best way to stop germs from spreading from one person to another is frequent hand washing. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you can’t wash.

  • Don’t Touch

    Try not to touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth if your hands aren’t freshly washed.

  • coronavirus germ icon
    Have a Cough or Cold?

    Cough or sneeze into a clean tissue or use your elbow. Never use your hands.

  • Keep Surfaces Clean

    Clean and disinfect frequently touched items and surfaces such as cell phones, toys, countertops and bathroom surfaces.

  • If You’re Sick

    If you are sick, stay home. Children should stay home from school and other activities if they show signs of sickness.

Proper hand washing is the first line of defense against spreading disease.

  • First, wet your hands with warm water.
  • Next, apply a quarter-sized amount of soap.
  • Rub your hands together until the soap forms a lather, being sure to rub the tops of your hands, in between your fingers and thumbs and underneath fingernails.
  • Continue rubbing your hands for at least 40 seconds, long enough to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under running water and dry them with a clean paper towel, if possible.
  • Use your paper towel to turn off the faucet and open the door if needed.
  • If no soap is available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds, and allow the sanitizer to air dry on your hands.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many types of human coronaviruses, including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.

Symptoms for COVID-19 include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Some people report losing their sense of taste.

Call your healthcare professional if you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. 

For COVID-19, a negative test result for a sample collected while a person has symptoms likely means that the COVID-19 virus is not causing their current illness. However, in the early stages of infection, it is possible the virus will not be detected.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others, and the CDC recommends these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.

Current CDC guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements:

  • The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough
  • Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.

The best way to prevent COVID-19 is to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and practice safety measures, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. 
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.


  • If I am not sick: The CDC recommends you wear a facemask while in public, especially when you are not able to social distance. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
  • If you are caring for others: If the person who is sick is not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with the person who is sick should not stay in the same room with them, or they should wear a facemask if they enter a room with the person who is sick.


  • Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.
  • Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
  • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • Limit contact with pets and animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask. 
  • Call ahead: If you have a medical appointment or think you have been exposed to coronavirus, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have been exposed COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
  • Get vaccinated: FDA-approved vaccines are available that offer up to 95% immunity against the virus.
  • Cover: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Dispose: Throw used tissues in a lined trash can, then immediately wash your hands.
  • Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Do not share: You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Clean and disinfect: Practice routine cleaning of high touch surfaces, including counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
  • Disinfect areas with bodily fluids: Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
  • Household cleaners: Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product
  • Stay at home until instructed to leave: Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider: The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.