Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Information for Hospital Visitors

With the number of COVID cases dropping throughout the state, and in accordance with Rhode Island Department of Health guidance, Lifespan has moved to a less restrictive visitation policy at our acute care hospitals.

If your family member is COVID-positive, please consult with the care team. 

General Guidelines for Visitors

All visitors will be screened for symptoms or potential exposure to COVID-19. Those who screen positive for any symptoms will not be able to visit, even if they have received a COVID vaccine.

  • Visitors must be at least 18 years old.
  • Patients may have up to two visitors at a time during designated visitation hours. 
  • At Rhode Island Hospital, patients must identify up to four visitors for the duration of the hospital stay. Two of the identified visitors may enter at a time. 
  • Patients on the Behavioral Health Units must identify two visitors for the duration of the hospital stay. One of the identified visitors may enter at a time.
  • For patients who are being cared for at end-of-life, up to four visitors at a time will be able to visit. There is no time limit on the visit. Additional visitors may enter after the original visitors exit.

Visiting Hours at Lifespan Hospitals

  • Rhode Island Hospital:
    • General visiting hours: 2-7 p.m. (last entry at 6:30 p.m.)
    • Behavioral Health Unit: 4-6 p.m.
  • Hasbro Children's Hospital: Please read these guidelines before visiting Hasbro Children's Hospital 
  • The Miriam Hospital: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 4–7 p.m. 
  • Newport Hospital:
    • Medical/Surgical and ICU: 1-3 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. 
    • Vanderbilt Inpatient Unit: 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. 
    • Behavioral Health Unit: 1-2 p.m. and 6:30-8 p.m. (One visitor is allowed during designated visitation hours.)
    • Birthing Center: Maternity services will allow for one birthing partner only for the duration of the stay, plus a doula.

Additional Guidelines for Visitors

  • For outpatient/office visits: Up to two people may escort a patient to an appointment, at the discretion of the patient's care team.
  • In adult emergency departments: At Rhode Island and Newport hospitals, if necessary for patient care, up to two family members/escorts may be permitted during the intake process. At The Miriam Hospital, one family member/escort is permitted during the intake process.

Once in the Hospital

  • All visitors must show a picture ID. You will be screened upon entry to the hospital.
  • Regardless of vaccination status, all visitors are still required to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth. Masks must be worn at all times while in the hospital, per CDC and RI Department of Health guidelines. All visitors will be given a hospital-approved mask  to wear in place of or in addition to their own mask.
  • A maximum of four people are allowed in an elevator. Please disinfect hands after pressing elevator buttons.
  • Please go directly to the appropriate patient room and remain in the room for the duration of the hospital visit.
  • You may be asked to leave at any time if safe social distancing guidelines can’t be met in the patient’s room, as some units have rooms with multiple patients in them.
  • Please sanitize your hands when you enter the patient’s room, and when you exit at the end of the visit.
  • Please practice safe distancing, by maintaining at least six feet between yourself and others, including staff and the patient you are visiting.
  • The cafeteria is now open to visitors. Visitors must remain masked except when actively eating or drinking.
  • Please understand that you are visiting the hospital at your own risk during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Thank you for helping us to provide the best care for your loved one during a hospital stay, and for keeping our community safe.

Woman and young daughter on laptop

Remote Visits Encouraged

Care teams continue to encourage the use of devices such as smartphones and iPads to communicate with patients in lieu of in-person visits whenever possible. Lifespan can provide devices to use for virtual visits for patients who don't have them.

Support for Patients with Disabilities

When a support person is essential to care for a patient with a disability, including patients who have altered mental status, communication barriers, or behavioral concerns (such as patients with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, dementia, and/or behavioral health needs), accommodations for the patient will be made so that the patient can be visited or accompanied by a support person.

The support person must be at least 18 years of age and can serve as the primary communicator with hospital staff and provide informed consent when necessary to comply with the civil rights of patients with disabilities. A support person may include a family member, guardian, community support provider, peer support specialist, or personal care attendant. In some instances, there may be a need to permit two support people to ease the burden on any one individual.

Support persons are also encouraged to use remote visitation using telephones, tablets, and computers when appropriate. Please reach out to a patient’s care team with any questions. 

Please Continue to Follow Safety Precautions.

Simple precautions remain the first line of defense against respiratory viruses. Lifespan urges the public to please continue to follow the usual guidelines:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you’re unable to wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched frequently (e.g., phones, doorknobs). 
  • Stay home if you are sick. 

Lifespan is committed to continually monitoring and evaluating the situation, and will continue to act in the best interest of our patients and employees. We thank our patients and their loved ones for their understanding as we work to ensure a safe environment for our patients and our workforce. 

Updated 6/10/21