Special Visitor Policies Due to COVID-19

Visitor Policy Updates

Special Visitor Policies Due to COVID-19

Last updated: July 8, 2021

Visitor policies are in place to help ensure a safe, trusted and comfortable care environment for all patients, visitors, physicians and staff.

Effective June 14, the following visitor policies are in effect at all Northwestern Medicine facilities.

Diagnostic Testing, Outpatient Facilities and Immediate Care Centers

  • One companion is permitted at Northwestern Medicine physician clinics, outpatient departments and diagnostic testing areas.
    • Exception: Due to physical-distancing constraints, companions are not permitted at Northwestern Medicine Streeterville physician clinics, outpatient departments and diagnostic testing areas.
  • One companion is permitted at Northwestern Medicine Immediate Care Centers.
  • Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the clinical care team. Exceptions include:
    • Patients under the age of 18 (limited to two companions age 18 and older)
    • Patients requiring transportation home after an outpatient visit (limited to one companion)
    • Patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance (limited to one companion age 18 or older)
  • All visitors must be 18 or older. Exceptions will be made if a patient's parent is younger than 18.

Inpatient Facilities and Emergency Departments

  • Two visitors at a time may be in a patient’s private room during visiting hours for inpatients not being treated for COVID-19.
  • Each patient in a semi-private inpatient room is allowed one visitor.
  • Visiting hours are 10 am to 8 pm at all hospitals. Inpatient behavioral services departments may have different visiting hours.
  • Inpatient waiting rooms are open with physical distancing and masking requirements in place.
  • Visitors must check in at the front desk, be screened for COVID-19 and wear a visitor badge indicating that they have been screened.
  • Visitors must be masked at all times, including in the patient’s room. Visitors are not permitted to eat or drink in patient rooms, as it would require periodic unmasking. Visitors who do not comply with the masking policy may be asked to leave.
  • Patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care and Pediatric Intensive Care units may have two visitors 18 and older who are wearing ID bands.
  • Patients at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital may have two visitors over the course of a patient's stay. Download this PDF for more information.
  • Patients in emergency departments who are not being treated or tested for COVID-19 may have one visitor. To meet physical distancing requirements in the waiting room, visitors may be asked to wait in a public lobby or in their car until the patient is in an exam room.
  • Patients in labor may have two support people, one of whom may be a doula, in their delivery room. Two visitors are allowed during visiting hours for patients who are postpartum.
  • No visitors are allowed for patients being evaluated for COVID-19 until a COVID-19 infection is ruled out.
  • All visitors must be 18 or older. Exceptions will be made if a patient’s parent is younger than 18.

Outside of designated visiting hours, visitors are not allowed, with the following exceptions:

  • Patients under the age of 18 may have one visitor.
  • Postpartum patients may have one visitor.
  • Patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or Pediatric Intensive Care Unit may have two visitors.
  • Patients in need of a compassionate exception, including those desiring pastoral care visits and those at the end of life, may have more than two visitors, at the discretion of the clinical care team.
  • Patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance may have two support persons, one at a time.

These visitor policies are subject to change at any time.