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

Effective July 25, 2022

To protect the safety of patients and staff, patients are allowed two visitors at a time in the hospital.

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, attorneys of patients, and companions for individuals with intellectual and or physical disabilities, are considered a “support person” and are allowed to stay past visitation hours as deemed necessary by the clinical team. A support person is not considered a visitor.
  • Labor and delivery patients can have a designated birth partner who remains the same throughout their stay. In addition, a professional doula may accompany the patient for labor support, but must be identified to the OB provider team prior to delivery. No other visitors, including siblings of newborn patients, are allowed.
  • Maternity patients receiving postpartum care can have their birth partner plus two visitors at a time. No visitors are allowed between 2-4 p.m. Siblings who are in good health and accompanied by an adult supervisor may visit during visitation hours. Siblings under 18 must be supervised at all times by someone other than the birthing patient. Each sibling is considered one of the two visitors allowed at a time.
  • Only the mother and birth partner are allowed in the special care nursey.

Visitor & Support Person Requirements

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 will check in at the hospital main entrance, where they will be screened, asked to sanitize, provided a hospital authorized surgical mask and a visitor badge. Front entrance personnel will notify the floor prior to the visitor being allowed to enter the hospital. Permission for visitation must be obtained from the inpatient floor and is at the discretion of the clinical team.

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.

Visitors must check in with nursing prior to visiting the patient and wear a badge with the patient’s floor and room number.

Visitation hours are from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily. It is at the discretion of the clinical team to allow visitation before or after visitation hours.

The below guidance only applies to support persons or guardians, including birth partners, parents/caregivers of patients under 18, attorneys of patients, and designated support persons.

  • COVID-positive support persons or guardians can visit on day six after symptom onset or a positive test if their symptoms improve and they are fever-free without fever-reducing medication. The day of symptom onset or a positive test is considered day 0.
  • Support persons or guardians who have been COVID-exposed in the last 14 days are only permitted if asymptomatic.
  • All must remain masked and in the patient's room at all times.

End-of-Life Visitation

End-of-life (EOL) patients may have more than two visitors if deemed appropriate by the clinical care team. 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.

  • In end-of-life cases, COVID-positive visitors can visit on day six after symptom onset or a positive test if their symptoms improve and they are fever-free without fever-reducing medication. The day of symptom onset or positive test is considered day 0.
  • In end-of-life cases, visitors who have been COVID exposed in the last 14 days are permitted only if the visitor is asymptomatic.
  • All EOL visitors must remain masked and in the patient's room at all times.

Emergency Department

  • Patients treated in an exam room and who do not have a positive COVID screen may have up to two adult visitors at a time.​
  • Patients treated in a hallway area and who do not have a positive COVID screen may have one adult visitor at a time who must remain near the patient.

The determination of visitor eligibility and the number of allowed visitors will be made by the emergency provider, resource nurse, and primary nurse.

Ambulatory/Outpatient VISITOR POLICY

To protect the safety of patients and staff, patients are allowed one visitor/support person. 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.