Visitation Restrictions at Grady Health System


To protect our patients, families, and staff during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have put new guidelines into place that limit visitation. We know that these are trying times; therefore, we have ways of communicating through phones, smartphones, and tablets to keep you connected with your loved ones. Any visitation request that differs from these guidelines will be reviewed by clinical leadership.

Patients who have been diagnosed with or who are suspected of having COVID-19

NO ONE is allowed in rooms of patients with pending or positive COVID-19 tests except for those who are nearing the end-of-life, patients who are under 21 years of age, women in labor, or other extreme conditions where the benefits of presence outweigh the risk of COVID-19 exposure.

  • End-of-life allows for up to TWO support people at the bedside. Community clergy counts as one of the two support people.
  • Woman in labor, pre-term labor, or requiring C-section may have ONE birth partner present.
  • Children who are under 21 years may have ONE parent/legal guardian at the bedside.
  • Exceptions for other extreme circumstances must be approved by clinical leadership.
  • A support person may remain with a person being admitted to the hospital until the person has registered. The support person must then leave the building.

For patients who do not have or are not suspected of having COVID-19, NO ONE may visit. Exceptions are: 

ONE support person may be present in the following situations:

  • Woman with pregnancy complications.
  • Person who is in serious or critical condition or in hospice care.
  • Adult with cognitive, physical, or mental disability who needs help with communicating, daily physical care, or emotional support.
  • Person undergoing a surgical procedure.
  • Labor and delivery patients can have one visitor throughout the patient’s stay.
  • Person having an outpatient test, procedure, or treatment where support is needed to assist the patient in getting to and from the appointment. Arrangements must be made in advance.
  • Person who must exercise power of attorney or court-appointed guardianship for a patient.

TWO support people may be present in the following situations:

  • NICU patients may have two visitors who must be the same visitors throughout the patient’s stay. However, there will be only one visitor at a time at the bedside and only one visitor per day. Exceptions in NICU:
    • First day of Admission – During the first 24 hours after admission, the patient may be visited by both parents and/or the mother’s birth support person.
    • Breastfeeding/Breast Milk Provision – The mother and father may visit the infant on the same day.
  • Person at end-of-life may have TWO people at the bedside. Community clergy counts as one of the two people.

Emergency Department

  • Patients in our Emergency Department can have one support person allowed per patient for the entire length of stay. This person cannot rotate.

Outpatient Appointments

If needed for the physical or emotional health of the patient, one support person may attend outpatient visits. All others must wait outside of the building until the patient is ready to leave. Patients must not bring children under the age of 16 to their appointment and must reschedule the appointment if childcare is not possible.

General Guidelines

Every person visiting must:

  • Be free of COVID symptoms, COVID diagnosis, and must not be waiting for COVID test results.
  • Complete a COVID-19 Health Assessment each time they come to Grady. People screening positive will not be allowed to visit. 
  • People screening negative will be given a “sticker” that must be worn at all times.
  • Wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth at all times. If you do not come with a mask, one will be given to you.
  • Practice social distancing, keeping 6 feet from others at all times.
  • Stay in the patient’s room at all times except for quick trips to the bathroom or to purchase food that must not be consumed in the patient’s room.
  • Clean hands each time they enter and exit a patient care area.
  • Remove and throw away gloves.
  • Leave the Grady building as soon as the visit is over.

Anyone under the age of 16 is not allowed to visit.

A person visiting may be asked to leave any care area if safety or social distancing cannot be maintained.

Staying Connected

If you are at high risk for COVID-19 complications, we encourage you to stay home. See below for ideas on how you may stay connected using phones and other technology.

  • Call hospital “in-room” phone.
  • Use cell phone, tablet, or laptop for calls, video chat, or text messaging.
  • Patients may borrow a Grady-owned iPad or tablet to connect with you via Video App.
  • Record messages, music, prayers etc., and give to your loved one’s nurse so they may play it for them.

Connecting Family with Health Care Team

  • Select one person to be your “family contact person” who will talk with health care team members.
  • Set up a schedule with your loved one’s nurse to receive regular updates and participate in medical discussions, shift change report, or discharge planning.
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