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Visitor Policy, Procedures and Requirements

Visitor Policy (updated 9/25/2023)

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.

St. Luke's shall not restrict, limit, or deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, skin color, age, national origin, ancestry, nationality, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, and/or any other legally protected classification. All visitors designated by the patient (or support person, where appropriate) are not required to be legally related to the patient and shall be entitled to visitation privileges in accordance with patient privileges and the reasonable restrictions outlined in this policy.

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

  • 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 staff, visitors and patients are to follow 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.
    • 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.
  • Symptoms: Symptomatic visitors are encouraged to not visit.
  • Hand hygiene: Visitors must follow hand hygiene procedures.
  • Physical distancing: There is adequate space in patient rooms and waiting areas for appropriate physical distancing.
    • Visitors will be informed of aerosol generating procedure (AGP) policy and recommended to leave the patient room for the defined timeline during treatments.
  • PPE: There is adequate PPE for patients, visitors and health care workers. 
    • Visitors will receive appropriate PPE and instructions.
  • Eating: All will be allowed to eat meals in the patient room during a visit, but they must:
    • Be mindful to eat short meals.
    • Keep the door closed.
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.

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 follow proper hand hygiene, as instructed by staff. 
  3. 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