Visitors Related Questions

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Frequently Asked Inpatient Questions Microchapter


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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Aisha Adigun, B.Sc., M.D.[2]

Visitors Related Questions

Can I have visitors while I’m in the hospital?

  • For the safety of the general public, visitors to healthcare facilities are limited due to the coronavirus pandemic. Depending on certain factors, a limited number of visitors are allowed for certain patients. In such a setting, the following precautions are advised as per recommendations by the CDC;
    • A visitor specific entrance should be designated for visitors only.
    • Visitors who are observed by healthcare facility staff to have a fever or other symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) should be instructed to leave the facility immediately and seek care if needed.
    • All visitors or encouraged to be aware of signs and symptoms of acute respiratory illness and to desist from entering healthcare facilities if they have those symptoms.
    • Visual alerts, such as signs and posters, should be placed at facility entrances and other strategic areas instructing visitors not to enter as a visitor if they have a fever or other respiratory symptoms.
    • Signage should include signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and who to notify if visitors have symptoms.
    • Visitors are strongly discouraged from visiting patients who are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including patients who are older adults or with an underlying medical condition. If visitors are allowed, facilities should follow national policies regarding the use of medical masks or face covers (e.g., homemade masks) by healthy visitors.
    • Facilities should apply alternatives for direct interaction between visitors and patients, including setting up remote communications (e.g., telephone or internet connection) in the isolation area to allow for video or audio calls.
    • Facilities should have staff members who are able to provide training and education to visitors. All visitors allowed to visit patients should be educated on:
    • Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 including instructions on who to notify if they develop symptoms.
    • Performing hand hygiene by washing hands with soap and water for at least 40 seconds or by using an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol for at least 20 seconds. Facilities should provide adequate supplies for visitors to perform hand hygiene.
    • Following respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette (e.g., covering mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing) in the event an individual develops respiratory symptoms while visiting the facility. Facilities should provide adequate supplies for visitors to perform respiratory hygiene and should instruct visitors with cough or other respiratory symptoms to immediately leave the facility and seek care if needed.

Is there anything I can to do to help others who have COVID-19?

  • During a pandemic such as this, it is normal to feel helpless and anxious. There is so much that one can do to help others as research shows that volunteering can help one feel happier and healthier, helps relieve stress, help boost immunity, and even help anxiety. Individuals can help others in the following ways;[1][2]
    • Take care of ones own physical and mental health first.
    • Practice social distancing and sanitation recommendations.
    • Check on your neighbors.
    • Make donations.
    • Volunteer at facilities where your expertise is required while practicing safety precautions.
    • Donate blood, food, and other essentials.
    • Combat misinformation online.
    • Share positive news with your family and members of your community.

I would like to accompany my family member or friend for their procedure or appointments I am concerned they will need my support to cope or understand the information being shared with them by the healthcare team

  • Hospitals are currently restricting visitors. Check your local health care facilities for their guidelines and recommendations on hospital visits specific to your situation.


  1. "Coronavirus: How to Help & Give Back -".
  2. "9 Ways to Help Others During the Coronavirus Pandemic - Idealist".