Visitor Policy Updates

Visitor Restrictions Due to COVID-19

Last updated: October 14, 2020

For the continued safety of patients, physicians, staff and the community, Northwestern Medicine has implemented visitor restrictions in all of our inpatient and outpatient care sites.

We continue to evaluate the visitor policy at each Northwestern Medicine facility. Please see below for updated policies for your local hospital. All outpatient clinics and facilities have a single visitation policy.

City of Chicago Travel Quarantine and Northwestern Medicine Visitor Policies

The City of Chicago has issued an Emergency Travel Order for everyone entering the city after leaving a state that is experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases. All city residents and visitors who arrive from one of these high-risk states are required to quarantine for a 14-day period.

Anyone who wishes to visit a patient at Northwestern Memorial Hospital is screened regarding recent travel. If you have traveled to an identified high-risk state in the past 14 days, you will not be permitted to visit a patient in the hospital. If you feel you need a special exception, please contact the patient’s nurse for more information.

Every Tuesday, the City of Chicago updates the list of high-risk states. The most current list can be found here. The city limits for the purpose of this policy are defined by this map.

If you are coming to Northwestern Memorial Hospital or one of its outpatient facilities for your own care, the quarantine rule does not apply. Please call ahead to ensure that you are seen in the most appropriate site. You may be offered a telehealth visit as an option.

Inpatient Visitor Restrictions

All visitors, companions, or support persons must be 18 or older.

Inpatients for Feinberg Pavilion, Galter Pavilion, Olson Pavilion (6th floor) and Prentice Women’s Hospital (Oncology and Antepartum/Postpartum floors):

  • Two designated visitors are allowed at the same time between 10 am and 8 pm for patients not being treated for COVID-19
  • Visitors must be identified by the patient’s clinical team during the registration process
  • Visitors must be masked at all times, including in the patient’s room
  • Patients in labor can have one designated support person plus a doula, if applicable. Post-delivery, in the mother baby units, patients can have one support person plus an additional identified visitor during specified visiting hours.

Outside of visiting hours (10 am to 8 pm), visitors are not allowed except for the following:

  • Patients under the age of 18 can have one visitor/companion
  • Patients in the Neonatal ICU can have two visitors, one at a time
  • Patients in need of compassionate care, including pastoral care visits and those at the end of life, can have two visitors
  • Patients in labor and post-delivery can have one visitor plus a doula if applicable
  • Patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance (limited to two support persons, one at a time)
  • Patients requiring transportation home after an Emergency Department, Outpatient Clinic or Diagnostic Testing visit are limited to one visitor/companion
    • Those accompanying patients for an Outpatient Clinic or Diagnostic Testing visit may be asked to wait somewhere other than the waiting room and will be notified when the patient is ready to be picked up.

All visitors, companions, or support persons must be 18 or older.

Inpatients at the hospital:

  • Two designated visitors are allowed at the same time between 10 am and 6 pm for patients not being treated for COVID-19
  • Two designated visitors for patients in the obstetrics unit
  • Visitors must be identified by the patient’s clinical team during the registration process
  • Visitors must be masked at all times, including in the patient’s room

Outside of visiting hours (10 am to 6 pm), visitors are not allowed except for the following:

  • Patients under the age of 18 can have one visitor/companion
  • Patients in need of compassionate care, including pastoral care visits and those at the end of life, can have two visitors
  • Patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance (limited to two support persons, one at a time)
  • Partner and support person of patients in labor
  • Patients requiring transportation home after an Emergency Department, Outpatient Clinic or Diagnostic Testing visit are limited to one visitor/companion
    • Those accompanying patients for an Outpatient Clinic or Diagnostic Testing visit may be asked to wait somewhere other than the waiting room and will be notified when the patient is ready to be picked up.

All visitors, companions, or support persons must be 18 or older.

Inpatients at the hospital:

  • Two designated visitors per calendar day are allowed between 10 am and 7 pm for patients not being treated for COVID-19.
    • The two visitors must remain the same during the 24-hour period.
  • One designated support person and a Doula for patients in labor; the same support person and a designated visitor for post-delivery patients.
  • Visitors must check in at the front desk, be screened and wear a badge indicating that they have been screened.
  • Visitors must be masked at all times, including in the patient’s room.

Outside of visiting hours, visitors are not allowed except in the following cases:

  • Patients in Pediatrics/NICU/PICU can have two visitors at a time.
  • Patients in labor may have a support person and a Doula.
  • Patients in need of compassionate care, including pastoral care visits and those at the end of life, may have two visitors.
  • Patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance (limited to two support persons, one at a time)
  • Patients requiring transportation home after an Emergency Department, Outpatient Clinic or Diagnostic Testing visit are limited to one visitor/companion
    • Those accompanying patients for an Outpatient Clinic or Diagnostic Testing visit may be asked to wait somewhere other than the waiting room and will be notified when the patient is ready to be picked up.

All visitors, companions, or support persons must be 18 or older.

Inpatients at the hospital:

  • Two designated visitors are allowed at the same time between 10 am and 7 pm for patients not being treated for COVID-19
  • Patients in the New Life Maternity Center can have one visitor
  • Visitors must be identified by the patient’s clinical team during the registration process
  • Visitors must be masked at all times, including in the patient’s room

Outside of visiting hours (10 am to 7 pm), visitors are not allowed except for the following:

  • Patients under the age of 18 can have one visitor/companion
  • Patients in need of compassionate care, including pastoral care visits and those at the end of life, can have two visitors
  • Patients in the New Life Maternity Center can have one visitor
  • Patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance (limited to two support persons, one at a time)
  • Patients requiring transportation home after an Emergency Department, Outpatient Clinic or Diagnostic Testing visit are limited to one visitor/companion
    • Those accompanying patients for an Outpatient Clinic or Diagnostic Testing visit may be asked to wait somewhere other than the waiting room and will be notified when the patient is ready to be picked up.

All visitors, companions, or support persons must be 18 or older.

Inpatients at the hospital:

  • Two designated visitors are allowed at the same time between the hours of 10 am and 7 pm for patients not being treated for COVID-19
  • Visitors must be identified by the patient’s clinical team during the registration process
  • Visitors must be masked at all times, including in the patient’s room

Outside of visiting hours (10 am to 7 pm), visitors are not allowed except for the following:

  • Patients under the age of 18 may have one visitor/companion
  • Patients in need of compassionate care, including pastoral care visits and those at the end of life, may have two visitors
  • Patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance (limited to two support persons, one at a time)

All visitors, companions and support persons must be 18 or older.

For inpatients at the hospital:

  • Two designated visitors are allowed between 10 am and 7 pm for patients not being treated for COVID-19.
  • One designated support person and a Doula for patients in labor; the same support person and a designated visitor for post-delivery patients.
    • Doulas must provide identification as a certified Doula and must maintain universal masking in the patient room.
  • Visitors must be identified by the patient’s clinical team during the registration process.
  • Visitors must be masked at all times, including in the patient’s room.

Outside of visiting hours (10 am to 7 pm), visitors are not allowed except for the following:

  • Patients under the age of 18 can have one visitor/companion.
  • Patients in need of compassionate care, including pastoral care visits and those at the end of life, can have two visitors.
  • Patients in the Special Care Nursery can have two visitors at all times.
  • Patients in labor may have a support person and a Doula.
  • Patients in the Emergency Department can have one designated visitor.
  • Patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance can have two support persons, one at a time.
  • Patients requiring transportation home after an Outpatient Clinic or Diagnostic Testing visit can have one visitor/companion.
    • Those accompanying patients for an Outpatient Clinic or Diagnostic Testing visit may be asked to wait somewhere other than the waiting room and will be notified when the patient is ready to be picked up.

All visitors, companions and support persons must be 18 or older.

For inpatients at the hospital:

  • Two designated visitors are allowed between 10 am and 7 pm for patients not being treated for COVID-19.
  • One designated support person and a Doula for patients in labor; the same support person and a designated visitor for post-delivery patients.
    • Doulas must provide identification as a certified Doula and must maintain universal masking in the patient room.
  • Visitors must be identified by the patient’s clinical team during the registration process.
  • Visitors must be masked at all times, including in the patient’s room.

Outside of visiting hours (10 am to 7 pm), visitors are not allowed except for the following:

  • Patients under the age of 18 can have one visitor/companion.
  • Patients in need of compassionate care, including pastoral care visits and those at the end of life, can have two visitors.
  • Patients in the Special Care Nursery can have two visitors at all times.
  • Patients in labor may have a support person and a Doula.
  • Patients in the Emergency Department can have one designated visitor.
  • Patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance can have two support persons, one at a time.
  • Patients requiring transportation home after an Outpatient Clinic or Diagnostic Testing visit can have one visitor/companion.
    • Those accompanying patients for an Outpatient Clinic or Diagnostic Testing visit may be asked to wait somewhere other than the waiting room and will be notified when the patient is ready to be picked up.

All visitors, companions, or support persons must be 18 or older.

Inpatients at the hospital:

  • Two designated visitors are allowed at the same time between 10 am and 6 pm for patients not being treated for COVID-19
  • One designated visitor for patients in obstetric units
  • Visitors must be identified by the patient’s clinical team during the registration process
  • Visitors must be masked at all time, including in the patient’s room

Outside of visiting hours (10 am to 6 pm), visitors are not allowed except for the following:

  • Patients under the age of 18 can have one visitor/companion
  • Patients in need of compassionate care, including pastoral care visits and those at the end of life, can have two visitors
  • Patients in labor and post-delivery can have one visitor as the primary support person
  • Patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance (limited to two support persons, one at a time)

All visitors, companions, or support persons must be 18 or older.

Inpatients at the hospital:

  • Two designated visitors are allowed at the same time between 10 am and 6 pm for patients not being treated for COVID-19
  • One designated visitor for patients in obstetric units
  • Visitors must be identified by the patient’s clinical team during the registration process
  • Visitors must be masked at all time, including in the patient’s room

Outside of visiting hours (10 am to 6 pm), visitors are not allowed except for the following:

  • Patients under the age of 18 can have one visitor/companion
  • Patients in need of compassionate care, including pastoral care visits and those at the end of life, can have two visitors
  • Patients in labor and post-delivery can have one visitor as the primary support person
  • Patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance (limited to two support persons, one at a time)

All visitors, companions, or support persons must be 18 or older.

Inpatient Rehabilitation patients at the hospital:

  • Two designated visitors are allowed at the same time between 12 pm and 8 pm for patients not being treated for COVID-19
  • Visitors must be identified by the patient’s clinical team during the registration process
  • Visitors must be masked at all time, including in the patient’s room
  • Visitors are not allowed for patients in the Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit.

Outside of visiting hours (12 pm to 8 pm), visitors are not allowed except for the following:

  • Patients under the age of 18 can have one visitor/companion
  • Patients in need of compassionate care, including pastoral care visits and those at the end of life, can have two visitors
  • Patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance (limited to two support persons, one at a time)

Emergency Department Visitor Restrictions

A no-visitor policy remains in effect at this location. Exceptions include:

  • Patients under the age of 18 (limited to one visitor/companion)
  • Patients requiring transportation home after an Emergency Department visit (limited to one visitor)
  • Patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance (limited to one support person)

All visitors, companions, or support persons must be 18 or older.

A no-visitor policy remains in effect at this location. Exceptions include:

  • Patients under the age of 18 (limited to one visitor/companion)
  • Patients requiring transportation home after an Emergency Department visit (limited to one visitor)
  • Patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance (limited to one support person)

All visitors, companions, or support persons must be 18 or older.

The following policies are in place for the Emergency Department:

  • All visitors, companions or support persons must be 18 or older.
  • No visitors will be permitted for patients who present with COVID-19 symptoms.
  • One visitor is allowed for patients not being evaluated or treated for COVID-19 symptoms. If it is determined that a patient needs to be evaluated or tested for COVID-19 during the course of their treatment, the visitor will be asked to leave until further notice.
  • Two parents/guardians are allowed for patients under the age of 18.
  • One support person is allowed for patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance.
  • Visitors must be masked at all times, including in the patient’s room.
  • Visitors cannot wait in the lobby.
  • For safety purposes, we ask that visitors refrain from exiting and reentering the department unless necessary.

Additional visitor restrictions may be required depending on the needs and safety of all patients and visitors.

The following policies are in place for visitors to the Emergency Department:

  • All visitors, companions, or support persons must be 18 or older.
  • No visitors will be permitted for patients who present with COVID-19 symptoms.
  • One visitor is allowed for patients not being evaluated or treated for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Two parents/guardians are allowed for patients under the age of 18.
  • One support person is allowed for patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance.
  • Visitors must be masked at all times, including in the patient’s room.
  • Visitors may wait in the waiting room if physical distancing can be maintained. If capacity in the waiting room does not allow for proper physical distancing, visitors will be asked to wait in their car or in the main hospital lobby.
  • Additional visitor restrictions may be required depending on the needs and safety of all patients and visitors.

Patients in the Emergency Department (ED) will be allowed one designated visitor.

  • All visitors, companions, or support persons must be 18 or older.
  • One support person is allowed for patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance.
  • Upon arrival to the ED, all visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and given a mask that they will be required to wear.
  • The designated visitor may wait with the patient in the waiting room as long as capacity allows for physical distancing. If proper physical distancing cannot be maintained, visitors will be asked to wait in their car or in the main hospital lobby until the patient is in an exam room.
  • Vendors and contractors who are essential for patient care will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and given a mask that must be worn in the building.

ED visitor exceptions:

  • If a patient presents with COVID-19 symptoms, a visitor will not be allowed to join them until the patient receives a negative COVID-19 test result. Patients who test positive or are presumed positive despite a negative test result will not be allowed to have a visitor.
  • If a patient needs to have an aerosol-generating procedure, the visitor will need to leave the room and wait in the public lobby or their car. If the procedure is very short, visitors may be allowed to wait outside the room briefly.
  • If a patient needs to move from a room to a hallway space, the visitor is not allowed to remain in the hallway. They will need to wait in a public lobby or their car.
  • Two parents/guardians are allowed for patients under the age of 18.
  • An additional visitor may be allowed based on compassionate care or care decision-making needs.

Patients in the Emergency Department (ED) will be allowed one designated visitor.

  • All visitors, companions, or support persons must be 18 or older.
  • One support person is allowed for patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance.
  • Upon arrival to the ED, all visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and given a mask that they will be required to wear.
  • The designated visitor may wait with the patient in the waiting room as long as capacity allows for physical distancing. If proper physical distancing cannot be maintained, visitors will be asked to wait in their car or in the main hospital lobby until the patient is in an exam room.
  • Vendors and contractors who are essential for patient care will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and given a mask that must be worn in the building.

ED visitor exceptions:

  • If a patient presents with COVID-19 symptoms, a visitor will not be allowed to join them until the patient receives a negative COVID-19 test result. Patients who test positive or are presumed positive despite a negative test result will not be allowed to have a visitor.
  • If a patient needs to have an aerosol-generating procedure, the visitor will need to leave the room and wait in the public lobby or their car. If the procedure is very short, visitors may be allowed to wait outside the room briefly.
  • If a patient needs to move from a room to a hallway space, the visitor is not allowed to remain in the hallway. They will need to wait in a public lobby or their car.
  • Two parents/guardians are allowed for patients under the age of 18.
  • An additional visitor may be allowed based on compassionate care or care decision-making needs.

Patients in the Emergency Department will be allowed one designated visitor once the patient is an exam room. In addition, patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance may have one support person present in the waiting room.

  • All visitors, companions, or support persons must be 18 or older.
  • Upon arrival to the ED, all visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and given a mask that must be worn in the building.
  • Visitors waiting to see a patient may be asked to wait in a public lobby or in their car if the waiting room cannot accommodate physical distancing.
  • Vendors and contractors who are essential for patient care will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and given a mask that must be worn in the building.

ED visitor exceptions:

  • Some exceptions to this policy will apply for the safety of all patients and visitors. For example, visitors will be asked to leave the room and wait in a public lobby or their car if the patient needs an aerosol-generating procedure or a COVID-19 test.

Patients in the Emergency Department will be allowed one designated visitor once the patient is an exam room. In addition, patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance may have one support person present in the waiting room.

  • All visitors, companions, or support persons must be 18 or older.
  • Upon arrival to the ED, all visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and given a mask that must be worn in the building.
  • Visitors waiting to see a patient may be asked to wait in a public lobby or in their car if the waiting room cannot accommodate physical distancing.
  • Vendors and contractors who are essential for patient care will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and given a mask that must be worn in the building.

ED visitor exceptions:

  • Some exceptions to this policy will apply for the safety of all patients and visitors. For example, visitors will be asked to leave the room and wait in a public lobby or their car if the patient needs an aerosol-generating procedure or a COVID-19 test.

Patients in the Emergency Department will be allowed one designated visitor once the patient is an exam room. In addition, patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance may have one support person present in the waiting room.

  • All visitors, companions, or support persons must be 18 or older.
  • Upon arrival to the ED, all visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and given a mask that must be worn in the building.
  • Visitors waiting to see a patient may be asked to wait in a public lobby or in their car if the waiting room cannot accommodate physical distancing.
  • Vendors and contractors who are essential for patient care will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and given a mask that must be worn in the building.

ED visitor exceptions:

  • Some exceptions to this policy will apply for the safety of all patients and visitors. For example, visitors will be asked to leave the room and wait in a public lobby or their car if the patient needs an aerosol-generating procedure or a COVID-19 test.

Outpatient Visitor Restrictions

A no-visitor policy remains in effect for all Northwestern Medicine outpatient clinics and facilities. Exceptions include:

All visitors, companions, or support persons must be 18 or older.

Patients in the Outpatient Clinic/Diagnostic Testing

  • Patients under the age of 18 (limited to one visitor/companion)
  • Patients requiring transportation home after an outpatient visit (limited to one visitor/companion)
    • Note: Visitors may be asked to wait somewhere other than the waiting room and will be notified when the patient is ready to be picked up.
  • Patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance (limited to one support person)

Patients Having an Outpatient Surgery or Procedure

  • Patients under the age of 18 (limited to one visitor/companion)
  • Patients requiring transportation home after a surgery or procedure (limited to one visitor/companion)
    • Note: Visitors may be asked to wait somewhere other than the waiting room and will be notified when the patient is ready to be picked up.
  • Patients with disabilities who require a reasonable accommodation for assistance (limited to one support person)

Clergy Inpatient Visits

Last updated: August 18

The following guidelines are in effect for clergy visits at Northwestern Medicine inpatient facilities:

  • Clergy visits are allowed for all patients who are not being treated for COVID-19, as requested by a patient or family member.
  • Clergy visits are allowed for COVID-19-positive patients as needed, based on compassionate exceptions.
  • Clergy will need to stop at the front desk or lobby upon arrival and must follow Northwestern Medicine masking, physical distancing and personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines while visiting.

Visitor Screening

  • Patients with inpatient surgeries or procedures undergo thorough testing prior to their arrival. Anyone exhibiting symptoms will be triaged for care or asked to return home.
  • Patients and companions entering Northwestern Medicine outpatient departments and clinics will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms at the time of scheduling and when they arrive at their clinical destination.
  • Inpatient visitors will be screened for symptoms and have their temperature taken at the hospital entrance.

Service Animals

Northwestern Medicine accommodates service animals for people with disabilities, as long as the presence of a service animal and designated handler does not violate current hospital visitor policies related to COVID-19 or infection prevention concerns. Contact your care team for questions and assistance.