Visiting a Patient

Visitor Guidelines During COVID-19 Pandemic


BIDMC has temporary visitor restrictions in place to help protect everyone from COVID-19. Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

Visitors should call ahead to make sure a visit will be possible. Call 617-975-9711 and ask to be connected to the patient's unit. We are sorry but patients who have or may have COVID-19 may not have visitors.

  • Patients may have one visitor per day. Children under the age of 18 may not visit unless they are visiting a parent and are at least 12 years old.
  • Inpatient visiting hours are noon – 7:00 pm. Visitors should arrive no later than 6:45 pm. Visits in intensive care are limited to one hour.
  • Visitors must be screened in the lobby. Those who do not pass the screening may not visit. Those who pass the screening receive a visitor badge, which must be worn throughout the visit.
  • Visitors will be given a surgical mask, which must be worn over the nose and mouth at all times while visiting the inpatient area. Cloth masks may not be worn.
  • Visitors must stop at the nurse’s station on arrival to the unit.
  • Visitors must clean their hands immediately before entering, and immediately after leaving, the patient's room.
  • Visitors may not eat or drink in the room. They should remain in the room as much as possible. They should not walk in the halls or visit the kitchen on the unit. Visitors are not permitted in the hospital cafeterias, gift shops, or other common areas.
  • Visitors should maintain social distancing, staying at least 6 feet away from others.
  • We must ask visitors who do not follow the above guidelines to leave the premises.

For more information, download our Inpatient Visitor Policy.

Visitors and escorts in other areas, including outpatient clinics, the emergency department, outpatient surgery and procedure areas:

  • A patient is not allowed a visitor in the emergency department until they have had a primary evaluation by the physician to assess their COVID-19 risk status, which may take up to an hour.
  • Patients may have one healthy visitor/escort at a time. If the patient is having outpatient surgery or a procedure, the visitor should leave the medical center once the patient has gone into their surgery or procedure.
  • Visitors/escorts will be screened in the lobby for symptoms of COVID-19 or recent exposure. Those who do not pass the screening will be asked to wait for the patient outside the medical center.
  • Children under the age of 18 may not accompany patients unless the patient is their parent and the child is at least 12 years old.
  • Visitors must wear a mask. In most outpatient areas, visitors may wear their own cloth mask (provided if does not have an exhalation valve). If the visitor does not have a mask, a surgical mask will be provided.

For more information, download our Emergency Department Visitor Policy.

Get more information related to COVID-19 for both patients and visitors.

Thank you. We look forward to welcoming visitors in a less restricted way as soon as it is safe to do so.

About Virtual Visits

  • We encourage and can help facilitate virtual visits via cellphone or tablet.
  • Patients should remember to charge their mobile device. Our staff can help if needed.
  • If the patient does not have a cellphone or tablet, most units have devices that can be borrowed for a virtual visit.