Visiting a Patient

Visitor Guidelines During COVID-19 Pandemic

Beth Israel Lahey Health has taken a number of steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in order to keep our patients and staff safe. Additional information on COVID-19 can be found here.

Visitor Guidelines

BIDMC is very pleased to welcome more visitors back to our inpatient facilities, which we know will greatly benefit our patients' wellbeing and healing. Please note that patients who are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 are not allowed visitors at this time. If you're looking to reschedule an appointment or to make a telehealth appointment, please contact your provider for more information.

BIDMC visitor policies can be found below. Please note, no visitors are allowed in the Emergency Department or the inpatient psychiatry unit on Deaconess 4.

Inpatient units
  • Patients may have up to two visitors at a time. Children under the age of 18 may not visit unless they are visiting a parent or sibling.
  • Visiting hours are noon – 7:00 pm. Visitors should arrive no later than 6:45 pm.
  • Visitors must be screened in the lobby for risk of COVID-19. 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 BIDMC-provided surgical mask, which must be worn over the nose and mouth at all times. Cloth masks may not be worn.
  • All visitors must wear a surgical mask, even if they have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Visitors must remain in patient room during visits and are not permitted in cafeterias.
If you're coming in for surgery
Emergency Department
  • Patients may have up to one visitor/escort.
  • A patient is not allowed a visitor until they have had a primary evaluation by a physician to assess their COVID-19 risk status, which may take up to an hour.
Labor and Delivery and Obstetric Inpatient Units
  • Two people, including parents or a parent and a visitor, can visit at any time through the day. Two people can be at each bed space.

*Exceptions: Designated support persons for patients with intellectual and/or physical disabilities may include, but shall not be limited to: an essential escort, a guardian or other legally authorized decision-maker, family member, caregiver, personal care assistant or another disability service provider knowledgeable about the patient's care. Designated support persons are not considered visitors.

In rare circumstances, such as when a patient is at the end of life, limited exceptions to visitor restrictions may be approved by the care team.

Please note: Individuals meeting these exceptions will be screened and must wear masks while onsite at our facilities.

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.