Skip to Content
We welcome visitors to our care settings while they’re wearing masks. View our updated visitor guidelines.

Visitor Guidelines

Updated and Effective Wednesday, June 8, 2022

  • Masks are required for all, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Visitors must self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the hospital or site of care.
    • Patients: please inform your medical team if you have symptoms or have had an exposure to COVID-19 or a positive test result within the past 10 days.
    • Visitors (18 years of age or older): please do not enter if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or have had an exposure and a positive test result within the past 10 days: 
      • Chills or fever (+100.4) within the last 24-48 hours
      • Cough or shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Fatigue
      • Muscle, body aches or headache
      • New loss of taste or smell
      • Sore throat
      • Congestion or runny nose
      • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

General Guidelines for All Visitors

Visitor Screening
All visitors must self-screen upon entry, including:

  1. No active COVID infection in the last 10 days.
  2. If a visitor fails the screening, they will be asked to leave the hospital.  

Visitor Requirements

  1. Visitors must be at least 18 years old and pass our visitor screening.  
  2. Visitors must follow all safety requirements across all our care sites:
    • Wear a mask(s) at all times and in all areas.  
    • Ensure the mask(s) covers both nose and mouth.
    • Wash hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer.

COVID and Non-COVID Inpatient Admissions

  1. Two screened visitors (18 or older) are allowed at a time, throughout the day, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., (instead of only two visitors per day).
    • Please know that clinical discretion may override the general visitor policy for the safety of the patient and visitors.
    • We kindly ask that visitors remain in their loved one’s room as much as possible.  However, those visitors are allowed to leave and re-enter the building the same day between 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  2. After self-screening, visitors will be directed to the appropriate nurse's station to check-in.
  3. Clergy are allowed and are not included in the daily visitor count but still must follow all safety precautions.
  4. The patient’s clinical team will notify the visitor about impending time/date of discharge.
  5. Up to two screened visitors are allowed to enter the patient’s room to hear discharge instructions and then help the patient leave the hospital.
  6. Exceptions to the visitor guidelines may be made under extenuating circumstances in consultation with the patient’s clinical team.

Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Patients

  • Each non-COVID ICU patient is allowed up to two screened visitors at a time, throughout the day, from 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
  • Each COVID-positive ICU patient is allowed one screened visitor per day for 60-minutes.

COVID and Non-COVID Emergency Department (ED) Patients

  1. Patients who come to our ED are allowed up to two screened visitors (see Visitor Screening) to accompany them to the ED treatment area. The visitors must at all times remain with the patient, wear a mask and follow all safety measures. For everyone’s safety, no visitors are allowed to stay in the ED waiting room.
  2. If the patient is admitted to the hospital, then up to two screened visitors are allowed to accompany them to the inpatient unit, with the exception of minors.
  3. Minors (under 18) who are admitted to the hospital may have up to two screened parents or legal guardians accompany them to the inpatient unit.
  4. We understand there may be extenuating circumstances which will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Non-COVID Patient Surgical and Interventional Procedures

  1. Each patient is allowed up to two visitors (age 18 and up) who pass our Visitor Screening to accompany them during:
    • Pre-procedure surgical/interventional procedure.
    • Post-procedure for patient discharge instructions.
  2. Screened visitors may wait in the waiting area if difficult for them to return to their car.
  3. The patient’s clinical team will notify the visitor as to the impending date/time of discharge. Up to two screened visitors will be allowed to enter the patient’s room to hear discharge instructions and assist in the departure from the hospital.
  4. Exceptions to the visitor guidelines may be made under extenuating circumstances in consultation with the patient’s clinical team.

Non-COVID Outpatient Services

  1. We encourage patients to come alone to their appointment (e.g., Mammogram, MRI, X-ray, blood draw, or other outpatient procedures) whenever possible; otherwise, each patient is allowed up to two screened visitors (age 18 and up) and follows all safety measures.
  2. Visitors who fail the screening will not be allowed to accompany the patient and will be asked to wait outside/in their vehicle until staff notifies them that the outpatient procedure is completed.
  3. If the situation involves a minor, our staff will contact the minor’s doctor to determine next steps.
  4. Exceptions to the visitor guidelines may be made under extenuating circumstances in consultation with the patient’s clinical team.

Non-COVID Practice-Based Offices—Medical Group

  1. We encourage patients to come alone to their appointment, whenever possible; otherwise, each patient is allowed two screened visitors age 18 and up.
  2. Patients should refer to NorthShoreConnect or their automated reminder calls for specific directions:
    • All visitors will be asked to wait outside of the practice to allow for proper physical distancing prior to patient appointments.
    • Staff will notify visitors when patients have been “roomed” for their appointment.
  3. Visitors are required to wear mask(s) at all times and follow all safety precautions.

In the case of minor age children (under age 18):

  1. Two parents or legal guardians of a minor who pass our Visitor Screening and wear a mask(s) at all times, will be allowed to enter the doctor’s office.
    1. Screened siblings and/or other minor-aged household members/relatives may be present for pediatric office visits. Masks must be worn at all times.
  2. If the parent or legal guardian fails the screening, staff will contact the child’s doctor to determine next steps.
  3. No visitors are allowed to wait in the practice prior to the appointment.
  4. For most appointments, NorthShoreConnect patients can eCheck-in 48 hours prior to their appointment. If they have the NorthShoreConnect Mobile App on their smartphone and the “Appointment Arrival” notification turned on, we will know when they have arrived. This technology promotes a contactless check-in and arrival experience and/or greatly reduces the time needed at the front desk of the office.
  5. Exceptions to the visitor guidelines may be made under extenuating circumstances in consultation with the patient’s clinical team.

Inpatient Pediatric Patients

Up to two screened parents or legal guardians are allowed to visit and remain with the child.

Labor & Delivery/Post-Partum Patients

  1. Two visitors who pass the screening (see Visitor Screening Process) may visit.
  2. A doula may visit in addition to the visitors and must remain in the hospital only for the duration of the patient’s stay in Labor & Delivery. Once the mother enters post-partum phase of care (2-4 hours after delivery), the doula must leave the hospital and may not return.
  3. Doulas are not permitted in the operating room but may rejoin the patient in Labor & Delivery to assist with breastfeeding after a C-section.
  4. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the patient’s clinical team.

Infant Special Care Unit (ISCU)

  1. With the exception of extenuating circumstances, only mom and support person designated will be allowed to visit the newborn in the ISCU.
  2. Only one person will be allowed at the baby’s bedside at a time to ensure physical distancing in the nursery rooms.
  3. Designated support person will undergo our Visitor Screening Process.

Adolescent Psychiatric Care

  1. Only the parent or guardian or one visitor who passes our Visitor Screening Process may visit the Adolescent Psychiatric Unit at Highland Park Hospital for parent conference purposes.
  2. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the patient’s clinical team.

Visitor Screening Process

Upon arrival to the hospital or site of care, the visitor (18 years of age or older) must self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms.

Visitors will not be allowed to enter if they have any COVID-19 symptoms or have had an exposure and a positive test result within the past 10 days. Symptoms include:

  • Chills or fever (+100.4) within the last 24-48 hours
  • Cough or shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle, body aches or headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

If the visitor passes the screening, they are required to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth at all times. They must also comply with all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines and safety requirements.

Extenuating Circumstances:

If an extenuating circumstance is identified (defined as an imminent surgery/procedure, terminal condition, significant change in status or condition, prolonged hospitalization of a week or greater, and very close to the end of life), an exception to the inpatient visitor policy may be made in consultation with the patient’s nursing and physician clinical team. The visitor will undergo the same symptom and temperature screening outlined for all visitors. Safety remains a priority.

  • Managing the Visit (COVID and non-COVID)
    • Once the visitor arrives, the entrance screener will call the unit so the staff member can meet the visitor and complete the screening.
    • The visitor and staff member arranging the visit arrive on the unit.
    • Length of visits will be determined by the care team.
    • For non-COVID-19 patient visits: the visitor will wear only the mask(s) provided at the entrance.
      • Staff will observe visitor removing their mask(s) and supervise hand hygiene upon departure.
    • For COVID-19 Positive or Person Under Investigation (PUI) patient visits: in addition to the mask(s) provided at the entrance, the visitor must wear a gown, gloves, and eye protection (provided by the unit) to enter the patient room.
      • Staff will continuously observe the visitor throughout the visit to prevent any unprotected contact and reduce the risk of transmission.
      • Staff will observe the visitor removing their PPE and supervise hand hygiene on departure.
    • Staff will arrange for an escort to accompany the visitor back to the hospital entrance.
    • Law Enforcement seeking entry to the hospital related to a legal issue with a patient must liaise with Public Safety and have a negative screen result.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding:
We understand these visitation restrictions may be difficult. We regret any hardship or inconvenience this may cause while you are in our care, but your safety and the safety of our visitors and staff remain our top priority.

Thank you for making NorthShore your trusted health partner.