Updated and Effective Wednesday, January 5, 2022
- No routine visitors will be allowed in hospital or other settings until further notice.
- Adult patients with appointments at any of our ambulatory care centers must come alone unless they require the assistance of a caregiver.
- Minors (under age 18) with appointments may be accompanied by one parent or legal guardian.
- Any allowed visitors or caregivers must follow enhanced PPE recommendations and may be required to show proof of vaccination in certain care circumstances.
- See our full set of guidelines below.
NorthShore is committed to keeping you safe while you are in our care. We understand how important it is for patients to have the support of loved ones while in our hospital or at one of our other care facilities.
Our visitor policy is based on CDC-established guidelines; and are in place for the health and safety of our patients, visitors and staff.
This policy is subject to change based on these guidelines.
General Guidelines for All Visitors
All visitors must undergo and pass our Visitor Screening upon entry, including:
- No active COVID infection.
- No exposure to COVID in the last 14 days.
- Meet CDC Travel Guidelines.
- If a visitor fails the screening, they will be asked to leave the hospital.
- Visitors must be at least 18 years old and pass our Visitor Screening.
- Visitors must follow all safety preventive measures across all our care sites:
- Wear a mask at all times and in all areas.
- Ensure the mask covers both nose and mouth.
- Maintain proper physical distance of at least six feet or more.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
Non-COVID Inpatient Admissions
- No visitors are allowed at any of our campuses except under Extenuating Circumstances. In such cases visitors must undergo and pass our Visitor Screening.
- We ask that one visitor (a family member, friend or representative) be identified to communicate with the patient’s clinical team during hospitalization.
- Clergy and designated caregivers are allowed and are not included in the daily visitor count.
- Caregivers (for patients who routinely have them) who provide 24-hour care, and also clergy, will need to show proof of full vaccination and adhere to our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements:
- Double masking, eye protection and hand hygiene.
- We also encourage booster receipt if eligible.
- Regarding discharge protocol, the patient’s clinical team will notify the family representative as to the impending time and date of discharge.
Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Patients
- No visitors are allowed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
- Extenuating circumstances will be taken into consideration.
Emergency Department (ED) Patients
- For everyone’s safety, no visitors are allowed in the ED waiting room or treatment area.
- If the patient is a minor (under age 18), then one screened parent or guardian may accompany them.
- If the patient is admitted to the hospital from the ED, no visitor is allowed to accompany them to the inpatient unit, with the exception of minors.
- We understand there may be extenuating circumstances which will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Non-COVID Patient Surgical and Interventional Procedures (Urgent/Emergent)
- During hospitalization for a significant surgical/procedure or an urgent surgical or interventional procedure, one screened visitor is allowed in the surgical waiting area for the duration of the procedure.
- Once the patient is admitted to the inpatient floor, visits are only allowed under Extenuating Circumstances.
Non-COVID Patient Ambulatory Surgery/Procedures (Elective/Non-Emergent)
- We ask that all patients coming for an ambulatory surgery/procedure come alone for their appointment, unless they require the assistance of a caregiver. Caregivers must pass our screening and adhere to our PPE requirements:
- Masking and hand hygiene.
- We also encourage booster receipt if eligible.
- If your caregiver passes the screening, they will be allowed to wait in the waiting room with their mask on and must practice physicial distancing for the duration of the procedure.
Non-COVID Outpatient Services
- 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 one screened visitor (age 18 and up).
- If the patient is a minor (under age 18), they must be accompanied by at least one screened parent or legal guardian.
- The visitor may not wait in the hospital during outpatient services.
- 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
- We encourage patients to come alone to their appointment, whenever possible unless they require the assistance of a caregiver. Caregivers must pass our screening and adhere to our PPE requirements.
- Please arrive no more than 15 minutes prior to your appointment.
- Visitors for adults must wait in their vehicles or outside during the appointment.
- One parent or legal guardian of a minor (under age 18) who passes our screening and adheres to our PPE requirements are allowed to enter the doctor’s office.
- For most appointments, NorthShoreConnect patients can eCheck-in 48 hours prior to their appointment. If you have the NorthShoreConnect Mobile App on your smartphone and the “Appointment Arrival” notification turned on, we will know when you’ve 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.
- We understand there may be Extenuating Circumstances, so it’s best that you consult with the patient’s clinical team for guidance and direction
Inpatient Pediatric Patients
- One screened parent or guardian is allowed to visit and remain with the child.
- Visitor must remain in the patient’s room at all times except when using the restroom or going to the hospital dining area.
Labor & Delivery/Post-Partum Patients
- Only the partner or one visitor who passes the screening and adheres to our PPE requirements, may visit. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with the unit’s nursing staff and the patient’s physician.
- PPE requirements include double masking, eye protection, hand hygiene and we will encourage booster receipt if eligible.
- A doula must show proof of being vaccinated and certified.
- The doula may visit in addition to the partner/visitor 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.
- Doulas are not permitted in the operating room but may rejoin the patient in Labor & Delivery to assist with breastfeeding after a C-section.
Infant Special Care Unit
- With the exception of extenuating circumstances, only mom and support person designated will be allowed to visit the newborn in the ISCU.
- Everyone in the ISCU must follow PPE requirements—double masking, eye protection, hand hygiene. We also will encourage booster receipt if eligible.
- Only one person will be allowed at the baby’s bedside at a time to ensure social distancing in the nursery rooms.
- Designated Support person will undergo Visitor Screening (see Visitor Screening Process).
Adolescent Psychiatric Care
- For parent conference purposes, only one screened visitor is allowed in the Adolescent Psychiatric Unit at Highland Park Hospital.
- 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) will have their temperature taken and will be re-screened for new onset of any one of the following symptoms or exposures:
- Sore Throat
- Runny Nose
- Shortness of Breath
- Muscle Aches
- Decrease in sense of smell or taste
- Chills or shaking chills
- Diarrhea, nausea, or other GI symptoms
- Personal diagnosis of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- Contact with a person quarantined or confirmed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- Must meet mandates for travel-related quarantine
If the visitor has a temperature of 100 degrees F or greater OR responds yes to ANY one of the symptoms or exposures, they will not be allowed to enter the hospital. The visitor is required to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth at all times. They must also comply with all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and physical distancing requirements.
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 provided at the entrance.
- Staff will observe visitor removing their mask and supervise hand hygiene upon departure.
- 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.