To protect the safety of our patients, family members, and staff, Shepherd Center visitation policies are subject to change at any time with immediate effect. Please follow all posted or verbal guidance.
Rules for all Shepherd Center Visitors
- Do not visit if you have a cold, sore throat, or contagious disease. You must be fever free for 24 hours without the aid of fever-lowering medications such as Tylenol, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium.
- If you have had a known COVID-19 exposure and/or are experiencing respiratory symptoms or any other symptoms that may be related to COVID-19, please obtain a COVID-19 test and ensure you are negative before coming to Shepherd Center.
- Expect to be screened and temperature checked when entering Shepherd Center.
- Masks are optional with the following exceptions when KN95 or surgical masks should be worn:
- ENCOURAGED if you are experiencing any respiratory symptoms (sore throat, coughing, sneezing, etc.) or any other symptoms of a contagious illness. Do not visit if you have a fever.
- REQUIRED when instructed by staff to protect the safety of patients, staff, and others.
- Alcohol, illegal drugs, and firearms are not allowed.
- Smoking (including vaping and e-cigarettes) is only allowed in designated outdoor areas. Ask staff for locations.
- Dogs are allowed in certain circumstances and only in outdoor areas. These visits must be cleared with the Case Manager and/or Nursing Unit Manager. No other pets are allowed.
- Please do not bring food for patients unless a nurse has cleared it.
- Please use hand sanitizer or wash your hands as you enter and leave patient rooms.
- Keep a quiet environment and avoid unnecessary noise.
- Respect the privacy of other patients.
- Dress appropriately for a healthcare environment, including wearing a shirt and shoes.
- Any exceptions to visitation rules must be cleared with the Case Manager and/or Clinic/Nursing Unit Manager.
Only approved volunteers are allowed to enter after screening and must wear a KN95 mask if in a patient care area.
- Only verified, essential vendors are allowed to enter after screening and signing in at the security desk via RepTrax. Vendors must wear KN95 masks if they are in patient rooms/clinical areas with patients present.
- Delivery personnel arriving after hours should call Shepherd Center Security at 404-350-7449.
Visiting Someone Receiving Inpatient Rehabilitation
Shepherd Center encourages support from family and friends. An inpatient’s designated family members/caregivers may visit with their loved one at any time. We ask that patients' friends and other family members visit only between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. No visitation should interrupt therapy or other scheduled programs.
Visitors under the age of 18 must be supervised by an adult visitor at all times.
No more than two visitors are allowed at a patient's bedside at any given time. If a patient has more than two visitors at one time and is medically cleared, they can meet with visitors in one of these alternative locations:
- Marcus-Woodruff Building ground floor Cafeteria, first floor Coffee kiosk, or sixth floor Family Lounge
- Recreation Therapy Room on the first floor of the Shepherd Building
- Secret Garden just outside the Recreation Therapy Room
- Outpatient Clinic Waiting Rooms on the first floor (only outside of clinic hours – weekdays after 5 p.m. and all day on weekends/hospital holidays)
Only one family member or friend at a time may spend the night in the patient's room. If someone under the age of 18 wants to spend the night in the patient's room, the Nursing Unit Manager must approve.
Visiting Inpatients in Isolation Due to Infection
Shepherd Center has special rules for visiting patients in isolation due to infection. These rules protect you and other patients from the serious risk of certain resistant infections. You will know if the person you are visiting has isolation precautions by a red magnet near the door that says “isolation.” There will be a colored sign indicating what you are supposed to do before you enter the room. Please help us maintain a safe environment by following these precautions:
- Visitors MUST check in with the nurse before entering the patient's room.
- Visitors may need to wear gloves, gowns, and/or masks depending on the type of isolation.
Gloves, gowns, and masks must be removed and placed in proper waste receptacles before entering other hospital areas.
- Visitors must wash their hands when leaving the room.
SCI Day Program Patients and Caregivers
- SCI Day Program patients and their designated caregivers will be given a colored bracelet that must be worn for the duration of their program.
- No families/caregivers will be permitted to enter clinical areas or waiting rooms unless they have been specifically approved by management or the patient’s case manager in order to assist with critical activities. Approved caregivers will get an additional colored bracelet. If you have questions about your particular situation, please speak with your case manager.
- Patients and family members must wear KN95 or surgical masks when staff or other patients are present.
- Patients and family members are permitted to go to public spaces on the first floor and below, including the coffee kiosk, Apothecary, cafeteria, and track. They are only allowed on other floors for therapy or if approved by the Day Program staff. They should not enter any inpatient unit for any reason.