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Here’s what visitors should know before visiting Northwestern Medicine hospitals

A look down the hallway of the recently completed phase 2 renovation in the Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital Emergency Room Monday, March 28, 2022.

Those planning to visit Northwestern Medicine area hospitals and facilities in northern Illinois are asked to read the health system’s updated visitor policy, which requests mask-wearing, before going.

The health system’s policies were updated May 26 and apply to all in the area except Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton.

Patients and companions are asked to remain masked at all times, including in exam rooms, according to the policy.

Diagnostic testing, surgery, outpatient facilities and Immediate Care centers

In accordance with state and federal health guidelines for healthcare facilities, eating or drinking is prohibited in exam rooms, as it would require the removal of the mask, policies state. Those who do not follow the masking policy will be asked to leave.

To allow for physical distancing in waiting rooms, visitors may be asked to wait in a public lobby or in their car until a patient is in an exam room.

Patients 18 or older are allowed one companion in Northwestern Medicine physician clinics, outpatient departments, diagnostic testing areas and Immediate Care Centers.

Patients under the age of 18 may have two companions.

Inpatient facilities and emergency departments

Eating and drinking is prohibited in exam rooms as it would require the removal of the mask. Those who do not follow the masking policy will be asked to leave.

As of May 26, patient in a private room is allowed two visitors at a time during visiting hours, while a patient in a semi-private inpatient room will be allowed one visitor. Visitors must check in at the front desk to be screened and will be given a badge they must wear to show they’re allowed inside the facility.

Although inpatient waiting rooms are open, hospitals requires physical distancing and mask wearing in waiting rooms. To allow for further distancing, hospital staff might ask visitors to wait in the public lobby or in their car until a patient is in an exam room.

Outside of designated visiting hours, visitors are not allowed. A few exceptions are allowed for nontraditional visiting hours, however, based on specific cases. To view those options, visit www.nm.org/.