Patient and visitor guidelines (2024)

This browser is out of date.
To ensure this website functions properly,
please upgrade your browser
or use a different one.


General policies

If you are positive for COVID-19 within 10 days (or 20 days for immunocompromised patients) of an in-person appointment, contact your clinic to discuss your upcoming visit.

All patients and visitors to UW Health clinic and hospital locations are required to answer screening questions regarding COVID-19.

Mask guidelines

Face coverings

Barrier masks are required in UW Health locations considered to be high risk based on the patient population served and where patients have compromised immune systems. Patients or visitors with cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms should always wear a mask. Cloth masks or masks with valves are not allowed.

Barrier masks

  • Provide a higher level of protection than face coverings

  • They prevent respiratory droplets that are in the air from entering your mouth and nose

  • They stop your respiratory droplets from reaching other people

Patients who arrive where masks are required will be provided a barrier mask to wear. In addition, the mask must cover both the nose and mouth and be worn the entire time. Patients who are not able to tolerate wearing a mask over the mouth and nose should contact their health care provider by phone or through MyChart. Immunocompromised patients should consider wearing a tight-fitting mask like a KN95 or N95.


Ambulatory clinics/settings

Masks are required at the:

  • UW Health | Carbone Cancer Center Rockford for staff, providers, patients and visitors for all direct patient interaction

Inpatient and surgical services areas

Masks are required for staff, providers, patients and visitors in high-risk areas where patients have compromised immune systems, including:

  • 7 West (Oncology section, behind the double doors)

  • Critical Care Unit

  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

All other settings

  • Masks are optional in all other settings


Ambulatory clinics/settings

Masks are required for high-risk ambulatory locations including the waiting rooms, registration/scheduling areas and exam/procedural rooms within them:

Masks are optional at low-risk ambulatory locations including:

  • All clinics not listed as high-risk

  • Madison Surgery Center

Hospital settings located within University Hospital, American Family Children’s Hospital and East Madison Hospital

Masks are required with every patient interaction within a hospital setting including entry to every patient room. Patient interaction is defined as an intentional interaction. For example, rendering of care or a conversation that takes place between a patient and clinician or patient/visitor and other staff member.

Masks are also required in high-risk hospital areas including:

  • Waiting rooms

  • Exam/procedural rooms

  • Registration/scheduling

  • Patient rooms

Patients may request that care team members wear masks in an area designated as ‘masking optional,’ and staff and providers will honor the request.

Patient and family visitors guides

Patient and visitor guidelines (1)

Patient and Family Visitor GuideUniversity Hospital and East Madison Hospital

Detailed information about your stay or visit at University Hospital and East Madison Hospital.

View the guide

Patient and visitor guidelines (3)

Patient and Family Visitor GuideAmerican Family Children's Hospital

Detailed information about your stay or visit at American Family Children's Hospital.

View the guide

Patient and visitor guidelines (5)

Patient and Family Visitor GuideSwedishAmerican Hospital

Detailed information about your stay or visit at SwedishAmerican Hospital in Rockford, Ill.

View the guide

Visitor info

Primary support persons and visitors

Our goal is to provide a safe, healing environment. For everyone’s safety, please respect these guidelines.

General guidelines

Primary support persons, visitors and health care decision-makers who are currently experiencing or recently experienced any acute respiratory symptoms, such as a cough or shortness of breath, or diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 10 days are not permitted.

Do not visit if you are experiencing a fever, cough, sore throat or body aches

Visitors under 16 years of age must be supervised at all times by an adult. For adults in the emergency department or hospital, the adult cannot be the patient.

We understand the importance of keeping patients connected with their loved ones while receiving care. To stay connected we encourage patients and families to use phone or video chat with anyone who is unable to visit.

Primary support persons and visitors

Note, the following includes our locations in Wisconsin and Illinois.

Emergency Department

  • 2 visitors

University Hospital, East Madison Hospital and Swedish American Hospital

  • 2 adult visitors

  • No limit on total number of visitors per stay

  • Visiting hours: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily

Women and Children's Hospital

  • All visitors must be assessed at the Security Desk

Urgent or Immediate Care

  • Primary support/visitor number not restricted

Clinic locations

  • Primary support/visitor number not restricted

Additional locations

Note, certain locations have additional visitor policies. If you are visiting one of those locations, please review the details below.

American Family Children's Hospital

2 designated primary support/caregivers allowed with the patient 24/7 within the following guidelines:

  • Primary support/caregiver must be older than 16 years of age

  • Primary support/caregiver will be the only people allowed to sleep overnight at the patient's bedside

Individuals under age 18 visiting American Family Children's Hospital must be accompanied by an adult.

Additional visitors are allowed during hospital visiting hours

Total number of primary support and visitors in the patient room cannot be more than 4 people at a time. Only 2 primary support individuals are allowed in surgical services and procedural areas.

General care units allow siblings of all ages. Intensive Care Units allow siblings 5-years-old and older.

Visiting hours: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Individuals under age 18 visiting American Family Children's Hospital must be accompanied by an adult

  • All visitors must be assessed on entry to the unit

  • 2 visitors, age 18 or older at one time

    • Adult visiting hours

      • Monday–Friday, 7:30–8:30 p.m.

      • Saturday and Sunday, 1–2 p.m.

  • Adolescents/Children visiting hours

    • Monday–Friday, 6–7 p.m.

    • Saturday and Sunday, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

For the safety of our patients, we do not allow family members under the age of 16 in our facility.

All patients are allowed 1 support person.

Guidelines for visitors under 16 years of age

In instances when a 16- or 17-year-old is part of a family/group, they will be counted as a ‘child’ to allow families/groups to stay together.

Children are welcome with an adult during visiting hours only. Exceptions:

  • Breastfeeding infant and end of life situations

  • Individuals 16 years and older may visit without an adult

Children and teens under age 16 do not count towards the total number of adult visitors allowed. In other words, there is no set limit on the number of children who can visit with a supervising adult.*

*If care team members determine that the total number of visitors (including children) is impeding care delivery in any way (i.e., too many bodies in the room interfering with machines and the movements of the care team), care team members can use their discretion to limit the number of children visiting.

Guidelines for visiting a patient in isolation

Limit of 2 visitors at the same time. Follow other designated visitor guidelines above.

Visitors should go directly to the patient's room and remain in the room during the visit, except to use the public restroom.

For everyone's safety, visitors should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and follow all instructions provided.

COVID-19 confirmed patient may only have visitors for end-of-life care, when required legally and/or 1 visitor for 1 hour each day.

Construction updates

Plan your travel

Road and parking lot construction around Madison, Wis. may cause travel delays or route changes and impact your arrival time at certain UW Health clinic or hospital locations. Please allow extra time when planning your appointment.

Patient and visitor guidelines (2024)


Patient and visitor guidelines? ›

Adult Inpatient Non-COVID Units: Patients will be allowed two visitors. Adult COVID-19 Positive Patients: Patients that are on isolation protocols for COVID-19 infections may have one visitor at the bedside. Visitors must follow Personal Protective Equipment protocols, as instructed by the unit nurses.

How do you talk to a patient as a visitor? ›

Open questions – for example, starting with 'what',' where', 'which', 'who' and 'in what way' – generate fuller answers. Most patients enjoy talking about their lives – jobs, families, pets, etc. Ask where they are from. If there are pictures in the room, ask about the people/animals in the pictures.

What are the effects of visitor restrictions on patients? ›

Among mental health consequences for the patient, loneliness, depressive symptoms, agitation, aggression, reduced cognitive ability and overall dissatisfaction were observed. For family members, worry, anxiety and uncertainty occurred, and they reported an increased need for information from care providers.

What are visiting hours for Jersey City medical? ›

Critical Care: Two (2) visitors are permitted from 7am to 11pm; Restricted visiting hours may be requested under the nurse's clinical discretion for the safety of the patient.

Can I visit a friend in the hospital? ›

Dos for Hospital Visitors. Do ask the patient's permission to visit before you arrive. Ask them to be candid with you, and if they prefer you not visit, ask them if another day would be better, or if they would prefer you visit once they get home. Many patients love visitors, but some just don't feel up to it.

What to say when visiting a patient? ›

Here are a few things to say when someone you know is in the hospital: “You're in my thoughts every day, I love you.” “You're so strong, you've got this.” “I pray that you feel better.”

What are visitor contact precautions? ›

A. The term “contact precautions” means that everyone coming into a patient's room is asked to wear a gown and gloves.

What is the visitor effect? ›

The presence of people that are unfamiliar to the animals as well as their movements, sounds and smells, all can elicit a stress response in the animals and may negatively affect their welfare.

Why should visitor impacts need to be managed? ›

If visitor impacts are not carefully monitored, gradual degradation of environmental quality can occur without MPA staff noticing until the damage is quite far advanced.

How does Jersey healthcare work? ›

Generally, most people who have been working and living in Jersey for 6 months or more will be entitled to free non-emergency hospital treatment. Check the charging policy to see if you're eligible for free healthcare services before you make any changes or cancel your health insurance.

Is medical care free in Jersey? ›

Jersey isn't part of the NHS. We have different rules to the UK, other Channel Islands and other countries. When you and your family first move to Jersey, you and your family will have to pay for most healthcare. Once you and your family have lived here for six months, you can apply for a health card.

Is Jersey City Medical Center a Level 1 trauma center? ›

As the regional Level II Trauma Center, Jersey City Medical Center is known for providing state-of-the-art care to the communities it serves both in New Jersey and in New York.

Can you ban someone from visiting you in the hospital? ›

No, hospitals cannot legally restrict visitors.

Should I shower after going to the hospital? ›

It's usually better to have a shower after an operation because you can control the flow of water and avoid getting the wound wet if you have been told to keep it dry. You may be told not to have a bath after some operations.

Can my boyfriend stay with me in the hospital? ›

What are my hospital visitation rights? Since 2011, federal regulations requires any hospital accepting Medicare and Medicaid to allow patients to say who they want as visitors. And this includes the majority of hospitals. The patient's wishes must be respected regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or relationship.

How do you start a conversation with a patient? ›

To begin small talk, lead off your conversation with a question. Ask your patient what they did last weekend or what their holiday or summer plans are. This is an especially good strategy if you suspect that your patient is anxious.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ray Christiansen

Last Updated:

Views: 5857

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (69 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ray Christiansen

Birthday: 1998-05-04

Address: Apt. 814 34339 Sauer Islands, Hirtheville, GA 02446-8771

Phone: +337636892828

Job: Lead Hospitality Designer

Hobby: Urban exploration, Tai chi, Lockpicking, Fashion, Gunsmithing, Pottery, Geocaching

Introduction: My name is Ray Christiansen, I am a fair, good, cute, gentle, vast, glamorous, excited person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.