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Visitor Policy, Procedures and Requirements

Visitor Policy (updated 3/8/2023)

The health and safety of our patients, visitors, health care workforce/providers and community are our top priority. Our visitor policy and guidelines are intended to ensure safety for all and recognize the importance of visitors to the patient’s recovery and healing process. 

In all cases, we encourage visitors to refrain from visitation if they have an infection, illness or are immunocompromised.

All hospitalized patients have the right to have individuals of their choosing visit during their stay, unless visitation interferes with the medical management, well-being, rights or safety of others. Any disruptive individual will be asked to leave.

Visitation is always based on our ability to deliver safe, quality patient care. Individual units are permitted to limit visitation on a case-by-case or temporary basis if visitation requests impact patient care.

Currently, there is an unlimited number of visitors permitted; however, it is preferred to have two to three visitors maximum at one time. Visitor numbers must also be appropriate for the physical space and care activities taking place. 

General Guidelines

  • Visitation levels are set by the health system and apply to all facilities. However, there may be nuances for certain facilities/units based on regulatory requirements.  
  • Visitation will be balanced against the following components:
    • Decreasing the spread or transmission of communicable diseases amongst patients, visitors, staff and our communities. 
    • Ensuring safe operations for clinical care.
    • Providing compassionate but safe care to patients, visitors and staff. 
    • Individual units and/or visitation for specific infectious diseases or populations may be further restricted.
    • Visitation for individual patients with any highly infectious disease, regardless of pandemic status, may be further restricted.
  • Patients with disabilities which may include, but are not limited to, altered mental status, physical, intellectual or cognitive disability, communication barriers and/or behavioral concerns, will always be allowed a support person to provide essential support and assist with the specifics of their disability.
  • Service animals are permitted.
  • Individuals noted by a patient as an essential caregiver are permitted.

Inpatient, Obstetrics, Emergency Department and Long-Term Care/Subacute Rehab Unit

  • Recommend two visitors at any one time, visitors and visitation may not impede care activities. 
  • Visitation in other areas as follows:
    • Children: pediatric patient visitation recommends up to two parents, guardians or caregivers at the same time during inpatient stays and emergency department and clinic visits.
    • In procedural areas, including procedural areas without patient rooms (e.g., curtained perioperative units), recommend no more than two visitors.
    • Volunteers of St. Luke’s are permitted.
    • Essential caregivers are permitted.
    • Deliveries are permitted. Personnel must make deliveries at the designated delivery drop-off location at each site and follow infection-prevention guidelines.
    • Personal visitors of St. Luke's employees or workforce are permitted.

Outpatient Visits

  • Outpatient visits: In most circumstances, clinic patients may bring their children (minor or needing adult supervision), whether to their own appointment or a sibling’s appointment, if they have no alternative childcare options. Some appointments (e.g., some imaging procedures, adult cardiology procedures, chemotherapy infusion/most oncology visits, and mental health evaluations and testing) either do not allow children at a visit, or strongly discourage children attending, and may be subject to the appointment being rescheduled.
  • Outpatient pediatric patient visitation recommends up to two people (e.g., parents, guardians, caregivers or siblings) at the same time during clinic visits.

Not Permitted

  • Vendors, unless they have essential roles (e.g., assisting providers, delivering supplies, etc.).


  • Masking: All workforce, visitors and patients are to follow current masking guidelines outlined by St. Luke's and per public health recommendations and organizational policy when in any health care areas or where patients may be present. 
    • Health care settings: All staff, visitors, and patients are required to wear St. Luke's-provided procedure masks, or personally supplied, non-valved N95s or KN95 masks. 
      • Personal cloth face coverings will not be permitted unless they are covered by a procedure mask. 
      • A visitor who does not wear a mask continuously and properly during a visit, will first be given a warning and will be reminded of the universal masking expectations. If, after a warning, they continue to violate the mask policy, they may be removed by security and added to a no-visit list.
      • If an egregious violation of St. Luke's masking policy occurs at any time, security may be contacted, and the visitor may be removed immediately.
    • Non-health care settings: visitors and vaccinated employees in non-health care settings have the option to mask, if they so choose, but are not required.
  • Symptoms: Symptomatic visitors are discouraged from visiting.
  • Hand hygiene: Visitors must follow hand hygiene procedures. 
  • PPE: There is adequate PPE for patients, visitors and health care workers. 
    • Visitors will receive appropriate PPE and instructions.
If an egregious violation of St. Luke's policies and/or safety measures occurs at any time, security may be contacted, and the visitor may be removed immediately.

Symptomatic Visitors Prohibited

No visitor exhibiting or reporting the following symptoms will be permitted, regardless of whether they meet the criteria above:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
Additionally, any visitor or ambulatory patient with recent COVID-19 infection must wait a minimum of 10 days after the start of COVID-19 infection, have improving symptoms, be fever free and off any fever-reducing medications for 24 hours.

Universal Masking (updated 11/18/22)

St. Luke’s has a policy of mandatory universal masking for patients, visitors, vendors and staff in all patient-care areas. Entry will only be permitted with one of the following masks: 1) a St. Luke’s-provided procedure mask, 2) a self-supplied, non-valved N95, or 3) a self-supplied, non-valved KN95. Self-supplied masks may not be visibly soiled. These masks will be required in all patient care environments, as well as all common areas such as hallways, lobbies, waiting rooms, elevators, etc. Personal face coverings will only be permitted in patient care facilities when they are covered by a procedure mask provided by St. Luke's.

Instructions for Visitors

  1. It is recommended you stay in the room with the patient as much as possible. If you need to leave the room to eat or use the restroom, please only move through the facility to necessary locations and return promptly. You may utilize the facility cafeterias and food service options.
  2. You must always wear a St. Luke's-provided procedure mask or your self-supplied, non-valved N95 or KN95 mask. 
  3. You must follow proper hand hygiene, as instructed by staff. 
  4. If you are directed to leave the room during a procedure, please follow staff direction. 
If you do not follow these instructions, you may be asked to leave the facility.

Additional Visitor Guidelines

  • In the hospital setting, how long you can stay is at the discretion of the healthcare team. It depends on the patient's condition, unit activity, and the need to prevent infection.
  • Leave all personal weapons (e.g., pocket knives, guns, etc.) at home or in your vehicle. Do not bring these items into any St. Luke's facility.
  • No smoking or other tobacco use is allowed within St. Luke's facilities or on any St. Luke's campus.
  • Cell phone use is permitted in most areas of the hospital. Cell phones are not permitted in critical care areas such as the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). If you are unsure, please ask your loved one’s nurse.
    • Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones were recalled because of a defect that could cause the battery to catch fire. Due to the safety risk to St. Luke’s patients, guests and staff members, these phones have been banned at all St. Luke’s facilities. Please do not bring them with you when you are visiting us.
  • Latex balloons are not permitted, as many people experience latex allergies. However, mylar (non-latex) balloons are allowed in most units of the hospital. 
  • Only flowers and plants from florists are allowed in the hospital. Due to infection prevention policies, flowers are not permitted in critical care areas such as the ICU, NICU, and PICU. Non-latex balloons and cards are encouraged for patients in these areas.
  • Please check with the nurse before bringing gifts of food or drink. 

If you have any questions about visitor guidelines, please ask a nurse. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!

More Resources for Visitors