Community and Media FAQ

We know you have questions.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received about coronavirus (COVID-19) and our answers. New questions arise as the situation evolves, so check back frequently for updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

All communications about confirmed cases will be reported at the county level by the Tennessee Department of Health and local county health departments.

On March 23, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued an executive order temporarily suspending non-essential and elective surgeries. If you have an upcoming surgery scheduled at a Covenant Health hospital, please contact your surgeon’s office for more information, including whether or not your surgery will occur or when it will be rescheduled.

If you have been screened for COVID-19 and are asked to go to the nearest emergency room, please call the emergency room ahead of your arrival to let them know you are coming, that you have been screened and are experiencing symptoms.  This will enable our staff to greet you at the door and appropriately isolate you as soon as possible and help protect our staff.  A list of emergency department phone numbers is below (phone numbers are 865 area code unless otherwise specified):

  • Claiborne Medical Center: (423) 626-9646
  • Cumberland Medical Center: (931) 210-5211
  • Fort Loudon Medical Center: 271-6035
  • Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center: 331-2200
  • LeConte Medical Center : 446-8835
  • Methodist Medical Center: 835-3400
  • Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System: (423) 492-5400
  • Parkwest Medical Center: 373-1130
  • Roane Medical Center: 316-3100

We are implementing or enhancing several protocols, such as:

  • Isolating patients who are exhibiting symptoms, including cough, fever, shortness of breath
  • Restricting visitors and screening everyone who enters the facility for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Working with our major medical supply partners to ensure our hospitals have the equipment and supplies needed, including masks, gowns, and gloves to treat an increased volume of patients
  • Daily communication is taking place with our system-wide leadership team, medical staff and our healthcare workers to assure the latest information and recommendations is being shared in order for our organizations to be as prepared as possible
  • All facilities have specific surge plans in place in order to accommodate patients in case the number of COVID-19 cases rise significantly in our community

We are isolating patients who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 from patients who are not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. Like other hospitals, we have implemented a restricted policy. As of March 21, visitors are no longer allowed in the hospital with the following exceptions: visiting a loved one for end-of-life care; a visitor who is vital to the care of the patient; patients coming for surgery or testing may have one caregiver accompany them; and women giving birth may have one birthing partner, doula, or caregiver). Everyone entering our hospitals are screened for travel history, fever, and respiratory symptoms. We have equipped our employees who will provide direct care to patients with COVID-19 symptoms with Personal Protective Equipment, including masks, gloves, and gowns as recommended by the CDC, and all employees are following proper handwashing protocols.

At our clinics, we are asking patients exhibiting symptoms to call ahead before arriving so we can provide direction and assistance via the phone, as well as prepare for their visit to ensure the health and safety of our other patients and employees. We are also using telehealth as an alternative to in-person clinic appointments.

Currently, we do not have any plans to use building spaces outside of each hospital facility for patient care. However, along with other are hospitals, we are working with the local health departments to consider some contingency planning as such time the need is warranted.  Some hospitals either have or are prepared to set up tents outside their emergency departments for COVID-19 symptom triage if we experience a surge in patient volume.

During a crisis, some may forget that emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes still happen, and Covenant Health facilities and medical providers continue to treat patients with life-threatening conditions at our emergency departments every day.

All patients and staff who come to our emergency departments are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and travel history, and we are isolating patients with COVID-19 symptoms from patients who are not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

Our health system-wide COVID-19 task force works directly with physicians, clinical leaders, and front line staff to implement protocols from federal, state, and local authorities. Guidance changes daily, and our COVID-19 task force ensures we are current on new developments and that all recommendations are operationalized throughout our system.

We are communicating daily with our physicians and employees about new developments to the COVID-19 situation and operational updates at the hospital level. We also created a resource center on our website,, where the public can stay informed about how to reduce the risk of COVID-19, review updates from Covenant Health, and view restricted visitation and screening policies that protect our patients and employees.

We have the testing kits needed to screen our patients who present with suspected COVID-19 symptoms, including cough, fever, shortness of breath.

If you are experiencing cough, fever, or shortness of breath and think you should be tested, contact your primary care physician for advice specific to your situation.

Covenant Health is the largest health system in the region with more than 11,000 providers and staff at nine acute care hospitals and other point of care facilities. Our leaders are working closely with government officials, the Knox County Health Department and our peers in healthcare across the community and the region to coordinate, collaborate and prepare for COVID-19 cases and continued care of patients separate from COVID-19. We are confident in our team’s ability and dedication to serving East Tennessee, and we will continue to assess and adapt as the situation may evolve.

In accordance with best practices and many health systems across the country, we are testing patients as they present with COVID-19 symptoms; however, all communications about confirmed cases will be reported at the county level by the Tennessee Department of Health and the Knox County Health Department. We have not turned anyone away for testing due to lack of available testing kits.

In accordance with federal guidelines, Covenant Health does not discriminate against anyone. We screen and treat all emergency medical conditions of all patients in a non-discriminatory manner, regardless of ability to pay, insurance status, national origin, race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

We are so incredibly gratified by the overwhelming community support offered to our employees and their families during this crisis. We ask that you direct offers of help to the Covenant Health Call Center by phone (865-541-4500) or by email (

We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has reached out to us during this time.  Anyone who wishes to donate supplies can contact the Covenant Health Call Center at (865) 541-4500 or by email at

Again, we thank the community for the many offers of help we’ve received during this crisis. We are not accepting new volunteers during this time, and all current volunteers are screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and travel history before allowed to enter the hospital.

To support parents who are working in essential roles during the COVID-19 crisis, Nanny’s Edu-Care Center will remain open 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. for children currently enrolled in our program.

Beginning Monday, March 23, Nanny’s implemented strict measures to ensure the health and safety of our families and staff, including asking parents who have traveled to high risk areas or are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms to self-quarantine with their children for 14 days, screening all children and staff for fever, cough, or shortness of breath, limiting the number of children who are together at one time to groups of ten or less, and limiting access to our facility. We will keep these measures in place until the threat of COVID-19 is behind us, as determined by the CDC, Tennessee Department of Health, and Knox County Health Department.

If you are unable to find the answer to your question above, please submit a new question and someone will respond within 24 hours.