Our goal is to provide a safe and healing environment. We know how important the support of loved ones is in the care and recovery of our patients. Friends, family and caregivers of patients are welcome as partners in the healing process.
Visiting Hours and COVID-19 Visitor Restrictions
Last updated: May 19, 2021
Visitor access is limited and outlined below. In some cases, visitor access may not be allowed at all. Limited exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis.
- Universal masking: Staff and visitors must continue to wear masks when in common areas and traveling within/throughout the medical campus. Visitors must also wear masks while in patient rooms. Masks with vents are not allowed.
- Entryway health screening: Visitors will be required to undergo a health screening. Anyone with a fever, cough, or flu-like illness will not be allowed to visit patients or accompany them to appointments. No visitors under 18 will be allowed (with limited exceptions for siblings).
- Social distancing: To ensure there is adequate, safe space for the increased foot traffic, visitors for adult and pediatric patients must stay either in patient rooms or the Sky Café on the 7th floor of the Center for Care and Discovery. Otherwise, they must be outside the buildings.
Parents and Caregivers
Parents have 24-hour access to their child.
- Up to two parents or legal guardians will be provided with a yellow band to identify them as having 24-hour access.
- Inpatients and outpatients are allowed to have both parents or legal guardians at the bedside at the same time.
Parent access in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Comer Transitional Care Unit (CTCU) and Mitchell Transitional Care Unit (MTCU):
- Up to two parents or legal guardians will be provided with a yellow band to identify them as being at bedside from 8am to 7pm and from 8pm to 7am.
Additional restrictions for pediatric patients:
- Procedural and surgical areas: Both parents may accompany the patient in this area.
- Outpatient clinics: Both parents and a sibling can accompany a patient in the outpatient clinics at Comer Children’s.
- Family Birth Center: For the latest updates, read our Family Birth Center visitor guidelines.
All patients, excluding those with positive or unconfirmed COVID-19 test results, will be eligible for one sibling visit per week.
- The sibling must be at least 3 years old and able to wear a mask.
- These visits will be pre-scheduled.
- Sibling visiting hours are daily from 12 to 5 p.m.
- Up to two siblings are allowed at a time when supervised by a yellow-banded caregiver.
- Sibling visitors must remain in the patient room, or, where permissible, in the Healing Garden. The playroom is off limits.
We do not restrict, limit or deny visitation based on age, race, religion, ethnicity, culture, language, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical disability or mental disability.
- Visitors may include, but are not limited to, different-sex and same-sex parents or legal guardians, other family members, friends, persons from a patient’s community, spouses, domestic partners and different-sex and same-sex significant others.
- Yellow visitor bands given to parents or legal guardians cannot be given to another person.
- Parents or legal guardians with a yellow band must fill out a visitor list when coming into the hospital. Only those on the list will be able to visit.
- Our non-discrimination policy makes sure that patients with a physical or mental disability may have visits from family, friends and others.
- If a patient is not able to make decisions on their own, their healthcare proxy may refuse a visitor or ask a visitor to leave at any time.
- Visitors must check in with the Public Safety Staff at an entrance to get a visitor badge. Visitors must show a state issued ID or driver's license to get a badge. Parents or legal guardians with a yellow visitor band must get a new visitor badge every 24 hours.
- Visitors may be restricted for the safety and health of a patient or visitor and for infection control.
- Visitors under 18: Children are allowed to visit but must be with an adult at all times who is not the patient. During flu season, children under the age of 12 are not allowed to visit.
- Visitors may be asked to fill out a health screening form before going in a patient room.
- Visitors at Comer Children's Hospital and the Family Birth Center will follow visitor guidelines for those areas.
To support the care, safety and privacy of all patients:
- Please stay in the patient room or unit waiting area. This helps to keep hallways clear for patient privacy and safety. If the patient needs help, please use the cal light in the room.
- Please speak softly and do not use loud voices. This is to help make the hospital a restful place for patients.
- You may be asked to leave the room by a care team member or the patient so that the best care can be provided.
- You can help use by keeping the area around the patient clear. Care team members may need quick access to the patient.
The University of Chicago Medicine has implemented an electronic visitor system to create a more orderly process for patients and visitors to access our facilities. This new computerized system is also in operation in Comer Children’s Hospital.
Visitors are required to show a photo ID upon check-in at the security desks located at the Comer Children's main entrance or Comer Children's Emergency Department. They will be issued a wearable visitor badge that will include their photo and name and the unit/room number of the patient they're visiting, along with the date and time. The badges will be active for 24 hours and must be worn at all times. Passes will also be color-coded by building.
All visitors will be checked against the visitor list.
Four visitor passes, in addition to wristbands for two parents/guardians, will be available for each patient room on Comer 5 and 6. Two passes will be available for the NICU and PICU/CICU.
Use of Hospital Elevators & Bridges
- Use of guest elevators requires staff assistance after visiting hours. Use of staff elevators requires staff assistance at all times.
- The second floor bridge is for patient transport and parents/guardians with yellow ID bands.
- The third floor bridge is for patient transport only.
The University of Chicago Medicine reserves the right to limit visitation as appropriate based on the interests of children, families, visitors and staff.
Tips for Protecting Your Children
- Your child's health needs may require the restriction of certain food, plants and gifts. Your nurse will tell you of any specific health restrictions for your child.
- Latex balloons are not permitted anywhere in the hospital because they are a choking hazard. Mylar balloons are acceptable.
For the safety of patients and others, please do not use the following inside the hospital:
- Hair dryer
- Curling iron
- Other household appliances
Cell phones may cause problems with medical equipment. We ask that you not use cell phones within the hospital. If you need a cell phone for work or emergency, follow these guidelines:
- Cell phones must be at least 3 feet from ALL medical life support equipment, including ventilators, pacemakers, balloon pumps, cardiac assist devices, dialysis machines, intravenous pumps, infant isolettes and extra-corporeal membrane oxygenators (ECMO) units.
- Cell phones must never have direct contact with any life-support or diagnostic laboratory medical device.
Please respect other patients and their families by keeping the ring tone on your cell phone on a low volume or vibrate. Remember to speak softly in case other patients are resting.
Do not smoke, except in designated areas outside the hospital.
If you have any questions about these restrictions, please ask to speak with your child's nurse.
Your Child's Privacy
Hospital personnel will also not disclose the fact that your child has been hospitalized unless your child's assigned access code is first given. This access code is given to the child's parent or legal guardian upon admission.