Reduced Parent, Caregiver, and Sibling Entry during COVID-19
We understand the importance of visitors in the health and well-being of our patients and families. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has closely monitored the spread of disease in our community, and we continue to review and adjust our visitation policies.
At this time, to keep our patients, families and staff safe from COVID-19 and other respiratory viral infections like the flu, the following guidelines are in place. Please read carefully before you visit any CHOP location.
Please note that because we are a healthcare facility, all eligible visitors, even if fully vaccinated, need to wear their masks at all times in all of our facilities and locations. Thank you for partnering with us to keep our patients safe.
For inpatient visits at the hospital
Patients are allowed to have up to four visitors total during a hospital stay. These visitors stay the same during the hospitalization unless a special exception needs to be made.
- Two of the four designated visitors should be the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) unless another individual is identified based on the family’s situation (such as a Support Person to ensure effective communication and full and equal access to healthcare services). These two visitors must be at least 18 years old and may remain at the bedside at all hours.
- The other two visitors can be named at the family’s discretion and may visit during visiting hours: from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. These other two visitors may include siblings ages 12 and older.
- We strongly recommend that only two of these visitors accompany your child at the bedside at a time.
- All visitors must be symptom free (without fever, cough or other concerning symptoms), not recently exposed to COVID-19, and cannot have testing pending for COVID-19.
- All visitors will be screened at each visit for signs of illness. For safety reasons, if anyone is showing symptoms of illness, they will not be able to visit. If both parent(s) or legal guardian(s) (or Support Persons, if any) do not meet the screening criteria, it will be recommended that you identify an alternate caregiver, or partner with our staff to support your child.
- For safety reasons, siblings 11 years old and younger are not permitted to visit patients who are admitted to the hospital at this time (with the exception of breastfeeding infants).
For outpatient visits at all CHOP locations
A patient can have up to two visitors total accompany them to an outpatient visit. These two people should be parent(s) or legal guardian(s), unless another individual is identified based on the family's situation (such as a Support Person to ensure effective communication and full and equal access to healthcare services).
Siblings can accompany the patient along with the patient’s parent or legal guardian if needed, however, we recommend that families do not bring siblings when alternate childcare is available for them.
- Any sibling age 2 and older is required to wear a mask, and will be screened upon arrival, just like adult visitors.
- Sibling(s) must be symptom free (without fever, cough, or other concerning symptoms), not recently exposed to COVID-19, and cannot have testing pending for COVID-19.
- If you need to bring sibling(s), please call before your appointment so we can arrange to accommodate everyone safely.
Guidelines for ALL visitors to ANY CHOP location
- All eligible visitors, even if fully vaccinated, need to wear their masks at all times in all of our facilities and locations, including in your child’s room when a staff member is present. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommends that masks should be worn in all healthcare facilities. Because we have many patients who are not vaccinated and are at higher risk for disease, we ask all visitors, even if they are fully vaccinated, to continue to wear well-fitted masks over their mouths and noses while at any CHOP location. Thank you for partnering with us to keep our patients safe.
- All eligible visitors must be symptom free, not recently exposed to COVID-19, and cannot have testing pending for COVID-19.
- All eligible visitors will be screened at each visit for signs of illness, including fever, cough or GI symptoms. For safety reasons, if anyone is showing symptoms of illness, they will not be able to visit.
- If you need to urgently bring your child to the Emergency Department, please ask a friend, family member or adult caregiver to help you take care of other children. We understand how difficult it can be to make childcare arrangements and plan for siblings. We thank you for your partnership in making sure that all siblings stay home.
- Vaccination for COVID-19 is highly encouraged for all parents, guardians and visitors to protect our patients, their families, and our staff.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask your child’s nurse or a member of their care team. Thank you for partnering with us.
Frequently asked questions
Are any visitor exceptions being made for holidays?
We recognize how stressful a hospitalization is and how meaningful it is to have family members observe holidays together. Unfortunately, we are not able to make exceptions related to holidays, including religious observances at this time. Our staff will work with you to ensure your family has the opportunity to recognize your significant holidays and life events.
Can we have our spiritual advisor see our child?
For families who would like a spiritual advisor to see their child, CHOP has multifaith chaplains available 24/7. If you’d like a visit from a spiritual advisor, please ask your nurse to connect with our CHOP Spiritual Care Team to facilitate a visit according to your family’s preferred religious tradition.
What if my family has extenuating circumstances?
Please ask your nurse to speak to the social worker for the area and nursing leadership. We will discuss your extenuating circumstances with you and let you know what supports we can provide.
Help us reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viral infections: Masking and safety tips
We are closely following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance which states all people (vaccinated or not) must continue to wear masks in healthcare facilities. Based on these recommendations for the public and to keep our patients, families, and staff safe from COVID-19, CHOP requires all parents and caregivers visiting a CHOP facility wear a mask as an extra layer of protection - even if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Families can bring their own masks, or our staff can provide you with a disposable mask upon arrival.
It's important to know that not all masks provide effective protection. All masks should have two layers of cloth that fit tightly over your nose and mouth. It is also important to wear your mask properly, covering both your mouth and nose. If you are at CHOP for an inpatient stay, please wear your mask while outside of your child’s room and inside the room when staff are in the room. You do not need to wear the mask while you sleep. We appreciate your support in wearing a mask to help keep everyone safe.
We also ask all caregivers to do the following:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Refrain from touching your eyes, nose or mouth if you don’t have clean hands.
These guidelines will be continuously evaluated related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We understand this is a difficult time and want you to know that we are here to help. Thank you for your partnership and support in helping us keep our patients, families and staff safe. If you have questions related to COVID-19 please call the Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline at 1-800-722-7112.
If you have questions about any of these policies, please contact Family Relations at 267-426-6983 or email email@example.com.
Updated March 8, 2022