Visitor Restrictions Due to COVID-19

Visitor Policy Updates

Visitor Restrictions Due to COVID-19

Last updated: May 10, 2021

Visitor policies continue to evolve at Northwestern Medicine to ensure a safe, trusted and comfortable care environment for all patients, visitors, physicians and staff. To align with recent changes to the inpatient visitor policy, NM recently updated its diagnostic testing and outpatient visitor policy.

Effective May 10, the following visitor policies are in effect at all NM 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 all Northwestern Medicine Immediate Care Centers regardless of location.
  • 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)

Inpatient facilities and emergency departments

  • Visiting hours are:
    • 10 am to 6 pm
      • Northwestern Medicine Huntley Hospital
      • Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital
      • Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital
    • 10 am to 8 pm
      • Northwestern Memorial Hospital
      • Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital
      • Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital
      • Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital
      • Northwestern Medicine Valley West Hospital
    • Noon to 8 pm
      • Northwestern Medicine Woodstock Hospital (Inpatient Physical Rehabilitation Unit only)
  • One designated visitor at a time may be in a patient’s room during visiting hours for inpatients not being treated for COVID-19. Additional visitors are allowed, but will need to wait in approved locations (these vary by hospital), such as:
    • Second floor of Feinberg or Galter Pavilions (Northwestern Memorial Hospital)
    • Hospital cafeterias
    • Personal vehicles
    • Outside the hospital

    Inpatient waiting rooms remain closed.


  • Patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care and Pediatric Intensive Care units may have two designated visitors 18 and older who are wearing ID bands.
  • Patients at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital may have two designated 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. 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.
  • Visitors must check in at the front desk, present a state- or federal-issued photo ID, 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.
  • 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, which vary by hospital, 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.

NM visitor policies are subject to change during the COVID-19 pandemic and flu season.