Visitor Restriction FAQs for Patients

Why are the visitor restrictions changing?

We have eased our guidelines because we recognize the benefit of patients having a support person with them during their hospitalization, surgery, or medical procedure. As we enter into the “new normal” phase of our operations after the response to COVID-19, we remain committed to providing a safe environment for patients, staff, and employees and enhance the overall patient experience.

UI Hospitals & Clinics remains prepared and ready to handle any additional cases of COVID-19 should our community needs change. Visitor guidelines are monitored as appropriate to maintain the correct safety measures, such as reducing the number of people in our patient care locations, to allow for social distancing. 

How will I know if I’m allowed a visitor/support person?

We have modified the visitor/support person restrictions for adult inpatients who are hospitalized or coming in for surgery or a medical procedure. We have also updated our guidelines for hospitalized pediatric patients.

New guidelines for visitors/support persons, effective July 2
Adult inpatients (admitted to the hospital for an extended stay), surgical, and procedural patients
  • One visitor or support person allowed per day.
  • Visiting hours are from 1 p.m. through 5 p.m. daily.
  • The visitor/support person must wear a face covering at all times and remain in the patient’s room or designated waiting area as much as possible.
  • Patients must provide the name of their visitor/support person in advance.
  • For the health and safety of our patients, there are some units that require different visitor restrictions. Please check with the specific unit for details.
Pediatric inpatients (admitted to the hospital for an extended stay), surgical and procedural patients
  • Two parents or legal guardians are allowed per day.
  • The parents/guardians must be healthy, wear a face covering at all times, and remain in the patient’s room or designated waiting area as much as possible.
Adult outpatient clinics (arriving for a clinic visit, then returning home), including offsite locations and UI QuickCare and UI Urgent Care walk-in clinics:
  • Visitors are temporarily suspended.
Pediatric outpatient clinics:
  • One parent or legal guardian is allowed.
Emergency Department and Labor and Delivery:
  • One visitor/support person per patient is allowed.
  • The visitor/support person must wear a face covering at all times and remain with the patient or in a designated waiting area as much as possible.
COVID-19 patients (adult and pediatric):
  • To reduce the risk of infection, we cannot allow visitors for adult patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.
  • Pediatric patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 will be allowed one parent/legal guardian.

Are visitors/support persons required to wear a face mask?

Everyone at UI Health Care - including approved visitors/support persons - must wear a face covering at all times when in UI Health Care facilities. You may bring your own, or we will provide for you at the entrance when you are screened.

Why must my visitor/support person wear a face covering?

As we update our guidelines to allow visitors/support persons, it is important to keep everyone safe inside our facilities. Wearing a face covering—along with social distancing, hand hygiene, and the other preventive measures we’ve put into place—helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. This safety measure is based on guidance from the CDC, public health experts, and our Program of Hospital Epidemiology.

What if I do not have a face covering?

We will provide you with a face mask at the entrance if you do not have one. If you cannot wear a face mask for medical reasons, we will provide you with a face shield.

What if my visitor/support person refuses to wear a face covering?

Face coverings help prevent the asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 and are an important tool in protecting patients, visitors, and employees. Visitors who refuse to wear a face covering—either a face mask or a protective face shield—will not be allowed to enter our patient care facilities.

If I cannot have a visitor/support person, where should they park after they drop me off for my appointment?

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 they would like to video chat with you while you are in the hospital.

If I’m being dropped off for an appointment and my visitor/support person doesn’t have a cell phone, how will they know when I’m done?

When you are dropped off at one of our hospital entrances, let the greeter know that your support person does not have a cell phone. The greeter will provide your support person with a pager, and the clinic staff will page them when the patient is leaving with details on where to meet. 

Can my interpreter come with me to my appointment?

For surgery or a medical procedure, your interpreter may serve as your visitor/support person. Since we do not allow visitors for clinic appointments at this time, we ask that you use one of our in-house interpreters or interpretation services if you need assistance with language interpretation. Call 1-319-356-1967 or 1-800-777-8442 ahead of your visit to ask for an interpreter (preferred) or once you arrive by asking a staff member. Interpretation and Translation Services has more information.