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Published on April 30, 2020

East Tennessee Children's Hospital Announces Phased Reopening of Non-Essential Services

East Tennessee Children's HospitalAs healthcare organizations continually monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our region, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital is working together with other local hospitals, the Knox County Health Department and local mayors to have a phased, responsible restart of procedures and services that have been temporarily closed over the past several weeks.

The temporary closure affected non-essential pediatric procedures, diagnostics, and outpatient services.

Factors that support reopening these services include: 1) effectively flattening the curve through social distancing and Knox County’s safer-at-home order, 2) improved COVID-19 testing, 3) aggressive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) stewardship by healthcare organizations, and 4) a relatively low rate of COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths in our area. Reopening non-essential pediatric services will allow East Tennessee Children's Hospital to provide care for those needing diagnostic and surgical procedures while continuing safe care for all patients.

  • On Monday, May 4, East Tennessee Children's Hospital expects to resume performing non-essential surgeries and procedures in a phased manner.
  • The phase-in of services will continue to expand during the next month, with a focus on stringent measures to protect patients, staff and providers from COVID-19.

These specific procedures related to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will continue to be observed:

  • All parents will be asked specific health screening questions related to symptoms of and possibility of theirs or their child's exposure to COVID-19. Patients may be tested for COVID-19 depending on the patient’s overall health status and clinical guidelines for the procedure or care they are receiving.
  • All social distancing guidelines will remain in place.
  • Hospital visitation policies will only allow one parent/guardian who is vital to the care of the patient.
  • All visitors should wear a face covering at all times and will be screened prior to facility entry.
  • Hospitals will monitor supplies of PPE and adjust procedure schedules if needed to preserve resources in case of a community surge in COVID-19.
  • Hospitals will continually monitor COVID-19 in the community and may limit or stop performing non-essential procedures if a surge or spike in the number of positive cases occurs.

Parents who have questions about scheduling specific non-essential procedures or services for their children should contact their child's provider’s office directly.