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.

To help minimize the spread of COVID-19 while also reducing feelings of isolation, Sanford Health is keeping its visitor policy current with the ongoing pandemic.

In general, each patient is allowed two visitors at hospitals and clinics across the health system. Visitor rotation policies vary by region.

For hospitals, two visitors per 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 mask at all times. Surgical masks are strongly recommended. Visitors to COVID-19 patients have additional restrictions.

Pediatric and NICU patients are allowed two visitors, including parents, guardians or other support persons. NICU policies may vary by location. Please call ahead at the location you’re visiting to learn about their policies.

Similarly, for clinic visits and outpatient appointments, two visitors are allowed with each adult patient. The visitors must wear a 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 a surgical mask.

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 pregnant person may bring two visitors with them 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?

A patient hospitalized for a few 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 numbers and community spread.
  • All COVID-19 patient visitors will receive a handout on our safety protocols.
  • We strongly recommend that visitors be vaccinated against COVID-19.
    • Unvaccinated visitors should quarantine for five days following their visit, followed by strict mask use for five days after that.
    • Fully vaccinated visitors should wear a mask for 10 days after their visit.

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