Visitor Restriction FAQs for Family Members

Why are these visitor restrictions in place?

We are doing this because safety is our highest priority. UI Hospitals & Clinics is, and will remain, a safe place to receive care.

Why do you require face masks?

Face masks are one important measure to help prevent the asymptomatic spread of COVID-19. That is why medical-grade face masks are strongly encouraged for patients and visitors.

Will someone help my loved one get to their appointment?

Yes, staff at hospital entrances will assist patients and approved visitors with exiting/entering vehicles, wheelchair escorts, and directions. For those who need a wheelchair, a staff member will escort them from their car, through the screening station, and to their destination.

I’m not an approved visitor. How do I ask for an exception?

You may call 1-319-356-1616.

How can I stay connected with my loved one who is in the hospital?

Patients are encouraged to stay connected with their loved ones while being cared for at UI Hospitals & Clinics. Phone calls, text messages, video chats, and social media are available with free Wi-Fi for our patients.

Can I join my loved one’s appointment via phone?

If the patient chooses to have a support person available by phone during the appointment, they may use their own phone or device to allow another person to listen during the clinic visit to speak with the provider.

If I’m not able to go inside the hospital, where should I park/wait?

At UI Hospitals & Clinics, you can park in any hospital parking ramp (first 30 minutes are free for visitors), or staff will guide you to complimentary parking in lots near the hospital. Parking Ramp 2 has free WiFi, which is helpful if you’d like to video chat with your loved one in the hospital.

ThinkIowaCity provides more information on community locations you can visit during your loved one’s appointment.

If I’m dropping someone off for an appointment and they don’t have a cell phone, how will I know when they are done?

When you drop off a patient at one of our hospital entrances, let the greeter know that the patient doesn’t have a cell phone. The greeter will provide you with a pager, and the clinic staff will page you when the patient is leaving with details on where to meet.

How do I video chat?

If both you and your loved one have a smartphone or device but are unsure how to make a video call, you may ask a staff member for assistance. Here are instructions for people with iPhones to use FaceTime and for Android users. Other common apps with video messaging include Facebook Messenger, Zoom, Skype, and WhatsApp. Your loved one will need to use the same app you are using.

I serve as an interpreter for my loved one. Can I come with them to the appointment?

One visitor/support person is allowed for patients undergoing surgery or a medical procedure, so you are welcome to accompany your loved one.

Since we do not allow visitors for clinic appointments at this time, we suggest our in-house interpreters or interpretation services for patients needing language interpretation. Call 1-319-356-1967 or 1-800-777-8442 ahead of the visit to ask for an interpreter (preferred) or ask a staff member when arriving at the entrance. Interpretation and Translation Services has more information.

Can I drop off items for the patient?

Items for a hospitalized patient may be brought to the hospital Fountain Lobby Entrance or UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital main entrance for drop-off. You will need to put items in a sealed plastic bag no larger than a grocery bag and write the patient’s name on the bag with a permanent marker. Staff will greet you outside these two main entrances to pick up items for delivery to the patient. If no staff are outside, you may come inside to the Information Desk.

The patient I want to visit is in critical care and/or an intensive care unit. May I visit?

Hospitalized patients may have one visitor/support person per day. Other exceptions are made by the clinical leaders in the unit based on safety and the patient's unique circumstances. We are sorry for any frustration these temporary measures may cause.

Are you caring for non-COVID-19 patients at this time?

Yes, we are still here for all patients with essential health care needs. The vast majority of our patients are here for other reasons not related to COVID-19, and the few that do have COVID-19 are in separate, isolated areas with designated support staff. Keeping you and everyone in the building safe is our highest priority.