Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Information

Our hospital is committed to providing the highest quality care and ensuring the safety of our patients, employees, providers, volunteers and visitors. We are continuing to monitor the evolving situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are taking the necessary steps to ensure we are fully prepared to care for patients, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in partnership with our local and state health departments.

Below are a number of resources to help educate you and your family on COVID-19. For more information on the virus, please contact the Tennessee Department of Health.

COVID-19 Online Risk Assessment

To help support the health of our community, we are providing access to an online COVID-19 risk assessment developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This tool does NOT provide a diagnosis, and it should NOT be used as a substitute for an assessment made by a healthcare provider.

Important Links:

Canceled Classes & Rescheduled Services:

Updated May 7, 2020

  • Healthy Community Group, suspended until further notice (fourth Wednesday of each month at noon)
  • Diabetes Support Group (Thursday, March 26, 6 p.m.)
  • Smoking Cessation Support Group, suspended until further notice (first Thursday of each month)
  • Diabetes Education Class
  • Childbirth & Parent Education Classes
  • Breastfeeding Classes

Starr Regional Medical Center has made the difficult, but necessary, decision to postpone/reschedule the following services:

Visitor Guidelines for all facilities:

Updated May 27, 2020

At Starr Regional Medical Center, our top priority is safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our patients, providers, employees and community. We continue to closely monitor the prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community and follow state and federal guidance as we adapt our operations to safely care for and support our patients. Effective May 27, 2020, we are easing our visitor policy as follows:

  • Inpatients will be limited to one WELL visitor per day, including one support person for surgical and obstetric patients. Emergency Department patients will also be allowed a support person. All pediatric patients shall be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • All visitors must be 16 years of age or older, will be screened upon entry and will be required to wear a mask and armband at all times while in the facility.
  • Visitors who do not pass the screening at entry will be asked to reschedule their visit until they are symptom-free.
  • Visitors are NOT allowed for high-risk, isolation, immunocompromised or respiratory patients who are under observation or test positive for COVID-19.
  • Starr Regional Health & Rehabilitation, our skilled nursing and long-term care facility, as well as our Senior Care program, both located on the Etowah campus, will continue the zero-visitation protocol at this time.*
  • We continue to screen everyone who enters our facilities for symptoms consistent with COVID-19, per CDC guidelines.
  • Please utilize alternative methods of communication, including technology, with patients as much as possible.

We will continue to limit entry points to our facilities. On the Athens campus, the main entrance, Outpatient Services entrance and the Emergency Department entrance will be the only entrances available. Sick patients seeking medical care, including testing, must enter through the Emergency Department.

The Etowah campus entrances will be limited to the main entrance and Emergency Department as well. After 4 p.m., the main entrance will transition completely to the Emergency Department.

Additionally, all common areas on both campuses, including the Cafeteria, Chapel, Gift Shop and main lobby, will continue to be closed to the public and all visitors. The cafeteria will be available to employees and medical staff only. 

Signage is being posted around the facility notifying visitors and the community of these new restrictions and guidelines. Thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation as we work to maintain a safe environment for our patients and team.

*Starr Regional Health & Rehabilitation and our Senior Care program, both located on the Etowah campus, elected to restrict all visitation effective March 12, 2020. Exceptions, only after screening has taken place, will include family of residents at end of life, hospice caregivers, home health care agencies and other necessary caregivers. We understand that connecting with family members is incredibly important, and there are a variety of other ways you might consider connecting with them, including telephone, email, text, or through Google Duo or Facebook. Please call Starr Regional Health & Rehabilitation at (423) 507-3659 with any questions or for information on how to contact a friend or family member using Google Duo or Facebook.

Additional Resources:

► Tennessee Department of Health's COVID-19 Public Information Number: 877-857-2945, available 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. CST daily 

► Chattanooga - Hamilton County Coronavirus Hotline: 423-209-8383, available 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST Monday through Friday

► Statement regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID–19)

Starr Regional Medical Center is committed to protecting the health and safety of everyone who walks through our doors. We continue to work closely with the Tennessee Department of Health and follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure the safety of our patients, the clinical and non-clinical teams who care for our patients, and all those within our facility.

Our hospital is prepared with the appropriate plans to detect, protect and respond. We have been preparing for the potential of COVID-19 in our community for several weeks, building upon the robust emergency operations plan we have in place year-round.

Additionally, out of an abundance of caution, we have implemented strict visitor restrictions and have limited entry points to the hospital. Everyone entering the building should use the emergency department and the main hospital entrance to access the facilities. Per CDC guidelines, everyone entering our facilities is being screened with a temperature check and questions regarding symptoms and exposure to a COVID-19 positive person. Also, all employees and patients must wear a mask upon entrance to our facilities.

We want to reassure our communities that it is safe to come to the hospital should you or your family need care. We stand ready to serve you. For more information about COVID-19, please contact the Tennessee Department of Health or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at