Northwestern Medicine Visitor Policies

Current Visitor Policies

Northwestern Medicine Visitor Policies

Current as of May 26, 2022

We want to provide a safe, trusted and comfortable care environment for all patients, visitors, physicians and staff.

Effective May 3, the following visitor policies are in effect at all Northwestern Medicine facilities with the exception of Northwestern Medicine Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital.

Diagnostic Testing, Surgery, Outpatient Facilities and Immediate Care Centers

  • Patients and companions must be masked at all times, including in exam rooms. You may not eat or drink in exam rooms because it would require removing your mask. If you do not follow the masking policy, staff will ask you to leave. This policy aligns with state of Illinois requirements and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
  • Patients 18 or older may have one companion in Northwestern Medicine physician clinics, outpatient departments, diagnostic testing areas and Immediate Care Centers.
  • Patients under the age of 18 may have two companions.
  • The clinical care team may make exceptions for more companions.
  • Companions must be 18 or older unless they are a patient’s parent who is under 18.
  • To allow for physical distancing in the waiting room, we may ask visitors to wait in a public lobby or in their car until the patient is in an exam room.

Inpatient Facilities and Emergency Departments

  • Patients and companions must be masked at all times, including in exam rooms. You may not eat or drink in exam rooms because you would have to remove your mask. If you do not follow the masking policy, staff will ask you to leave. This policy aligns with state of Illinois requirements and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
  • A patient in a private room may have two visitors at a time during visiting hours.
  • Each patient in a semi-private inpatient room may have one visitor.
  • Visiting hours are 8 am to 8 pm at all hospitals. Inpatient behavioral health services and pediatric departments may have different visiting hours.
  • All visitors must be 18 or older. Exceptions will be made if a patient’s parent is younger than 18.
  • Visitors must follow posted signage and staff instructions when visiting patients who are on isolation precautions.
  • Inpatient waiting rooms are open. We require physical distancing and masking in waiting rooms. To allow for physical distancing, we may ask visitors to wait in a public lobby or in their car until the patient is in an exam room.
  • Visitors must check in at the front desk. We will screen each visitor for COVID-19 and give them a badge. Visitors must wear a visitor badge to show they have been screened.
  • Patients in a neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric department or pediatric intensive care unit may have two visitors 18 and older. Those visitors must wear ID bands.
  • Patients in an emergency department may have one visitor. Patients under the age of 18 may have two visitors who are 18 or older.
  • Patients in labor may have two support people, one of whom may be a doula, in their delivery room. Patients who are postpartum may have two visitors during visiting hours.

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

  • Patients under the age of 18 may have two visitors/caregivers wearing ID bands.
  • Patients who are postpartum may have one visitor.
  • Patients in a neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric department or pediatric intensive care unit may have two visitors.
  • Patients in need of compassionate care, 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 may change at any time.