Visitor Policy

Emerson Hospital is a patient- and family-focused environment. The health and safety of our patients, visitors, employees, and our communities remains our top priority. In line with guidance issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, our visitor policies have been updated to reflect the limitations that the COVID-19 pandemic has created.

Emerson Hospital Visitor Policy

Revised July 23, 2021

Emerson’s visitor policy has changed to allow two visitors at a time for inpatients and the emergency department. Visitors continue to be restricted in ambulatory settings with limited exceptions.

  • Each patient is allowed no more than two visitors at a time.
  • Visitors must check in with nursing prior to visiting the patient. Visitors must stay in the patient’s room and wear a badge with the patient’s floor and room number.
  • All approved visitors will be screened for symptoms, asked to sanitize, and required to wear a mask at all times while in the hospital.
  • Visitation hours are from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. The switchboard will make overhead announcements 15 minutes before the end of visitation hours and at 8 p.m. when visitation hours are over.

Limited exceptions include:

  • In compassionate care situations, including end-of-life, decisions about visitation will be as appropriate, on a case-by-case basis.
  • Birth partners, parents of patients under 18, attorneys of patients, and companions for individuals with intellectual and or physical disabilities, are not considered visitors and must be allowed; however, they must be screened.​
  • Labor and delivery patients can have a designated birth partner who remains the same throughout their stay (must be tested and screened for COVID-19). In addition, a professional doula may accompany the patient for labor support (must be screened for COVID-like illness).  No other visitors are allowed.
  • Maternity patients receiving postpartum care can have their birth partner remain with them during their stay, plus one visitor at a time. No visitors under 18. Visiting hours are from 12-2 p.m. then again from 4-8 p.m. Quiet time is from 2-4 p.m. and no visitors are allowed during this time. 
  • Only the mother and birth partner are allowed in the special care nursey.
  • Regardless of vaccination status, all patients and visitors must wear a hospital-supplied mask in the presence of  health care staff, outside of the postpartum rooms, and in general settings. 
  • Visitors with obvious signs of illness, such as fever, cough, sore throat, chills, shortness of breath, congestion or runny nose, muscle or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, or known close contact with someone who has COVID-19 illness in the last 14 days will not be permitted to visit.

End-of-Life Visitation

End-of-Life (EOL) patients may have as many visitors in one day as deemed appropriate for the patient/family wellbeing; however, no more than two visitors may be in the room at any one time. Decisions about visitation will be made collaboratively with the patient and loved ones, as appropriate, on a case-by-case basis. There are no restrictions as to the time of visitation for EOL patients; the duration and timing of the visit is per discretion of the local clinical team and unit leadership.

Emergency Department

Patients in the emergency department who are being treated in an exam room (excluding hallways) and who do not have a positive COVID-19 screen may have one or two adult visitors. Visitors must stay in the patient’s room and cannot use emergency department waiting rooms. Patients in the emergency department who are being treated in a hallway area and who do not have a positive COVID screen may have one adult visitor. Visitors are to remain in close proximity to the patient at all times. All visitor eligibility is determined by the emergency department care team.

Emergency department waiting rooms are not to be used by visitors. When not in a room with the patient, visitors shall promptly depart from the emergency department and proceed directly to their vehicle.

Ambulatory/Outpatient VISITOR POLICY

Emerson allows one visitor to accompany patients to ambulatory/outpatient appointments. All visitors must be screened, wear a mask, and remain with the patient during the entire visit. If the visitor cannot stay with the patient at all times (as would generally be the case in a procedure or surgery), the visitor will be asked to leave and return when the patient is ready to go. Individuals under the age of 18 accompanying patients will be allowed to attend the visit with the patient.

We understand this may be difficult and thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this time.