COVID-19 FAQs: When can I have visitors in the hospital?

Learn how the visitor limit affects hospital stays and clinic appointments

Hospital patient window decorated with hearts.

Sanford Health is changing its visitor policy, effective Oct. 18. Each patient is allowed two visitors at hospitals and clinics across the health system.

For hospitals, two visitors per adult patient are welcome from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. All visitors will be screened according to current CDC guidelines, and must wear a cloth or surgical mask at all times.

Pediatric and NICU patients are allowed two visitors, adult or minor. This can include parents, guardians or other support persons.

Similarly, for clinic visits and outpatient appointments, two visitors are allowed with each adult patient. The visitors must wear a surgical or cloth mask at all times. Neonatal and pediatric patients are allowed two visitors during their appointment. This can include parents, guardians or other support persons.

If a visitor does not have a mask, the facility will provide one.

We’ve outlined a few specific situations below. If you have more questions, please call your health care provider or clinic before you visit.

Can I bring my partner or friend to prenatal appointments?

A woman may bring two visitors with her to clinic appointments such as a 20-week ultrasound. All parties should wear a face mask into the clinic and for the duration of the appointment.

Who can go to pediatric appointments?

When a parent brings their child in for an appointment or procedure, both the parent and child must wear a mask while on hospital grounds. Because the child is the patient, one parent counts as one visitor. That parent or guardian can bring a partner, spouse or other child with them. All minor visitors must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Can I have visitors in the hospital?

An adult hospitalized for four days may have several visitors over the course of their stay, but only two at a time. It is recommended to keep the total number of visitors to a minimum. All visitors must wear a mask while on hospital grounds.

For COVID-19 patients in isolation:

  • Adult and pediatric patients are allowed two visitors per day. Visitors can’t rotate.
  • Locations with COVID-19 patients in double occupancy (shared) rooms may choose not to allow visitors.
  • While many facilities allow visitors, Sanford Health medical centers can choose to be more restrictive based on the location’s needs, patient volumes and community spread.
  • All COVID-19 patient visitors will receive a handout on our safety protocols.

What about visitors to skilled nursing and assisted living locations?

To protect long-term care residents, we implemented visitor restrictions early on in the COVID-19 pandemic. While safety remains our top priority, we can now allow in-person visits because of the precautions we’re taking. Please note, visitation in long-term care may vary according to guidelines from state and local departments of health.

To schedule a visit or learn more about safe visit guidelines, please contact the location directly.

Information in this article was accurate when it was posted. As the COVID-19 pandemic changes, scientific understanding and guidelines may have changed since the original publication date.

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Posted In Coronavirus, Frequently Asked Questions, Senior Services

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