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Updated: March 17, 2022

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) is updating our guidance to align with the CDC’s recent changes. This guidance is being updated to continue our focus on protection for healthcare personnel, patients and visitors. These updates will be refined as additional information becomes available to inform recommended actions.

ARHS encourages everyone to remain up to date with all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses.


General COVID-19 Visitor Guidelines

At Hospitals, Outpatient Offices and other ARHS Locations (HR, Patient Accounts, etc), visitors must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth at all times in public locations (a mask is not required inside a patient’s room).

Visitors should not enter if they have a respiratory illness, fever, cough, etc. if they have COVID-19 or are waiting on COVID-19 test results.


Watauga Medical Center & Cannon Memorial Hospital

Adult and Pediatric Patients: Two (2) visitors will be allowed for adult patients at any given time

WMC Birthing Center: Two visitors will be allowed from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., only one overnight visitor will be allowed. If a laboring mother wishes to have a doula they would be allowed as a third person but should leave within one hour after delivery.


Emergency Departments

Emergency Departments patients are allowed one (1) visitor any time of day upon initial assessment, and 2 visitors once the patient is stabilized. Two (2) parents or guardians are allowed if patients are under 18. Visitors must wear a badge with the room number identified.

Due to construction, Emergency Department visitors will be allowed in waiting rooms, but are encouraged to wait in their vehicle due to limited waiting room space.

Exceptions for additional visitation will be managed by the ED Charge Nurse.

COVID Patients: One visitor at a time will be allowed for COVID patients on isolation between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Additional visitors will be considered as needed by the House Supervisor.


Inpatient Behavioral Health

Visiting hours are 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. One (1) visitor will be allowed for a period of 30 minutes, by appointment only. Potential visitors should call (828) 737-7071 to schedule an appointment.

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