Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Information for Hospital Visitors

In response to the number of COVID cases throughout the state, and in accordance with Rhode Island Department of Health guidance, Lifespan has implemented the following visitation policy at our acute care hospitals.

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

Visiting Hours and Guidelines at Lifespan Hospitals and Offices

Choose a hospital below for specific guidelines and visiting hours.

Rhode Island Hospital

General Guidelines for Visitors at Rhode Island Hospital

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.
  • All visitors must show a picture ID. You will be screened upon entry to the hospital and asked to sanitize hands and social distance six feet apart.
  • All visitors are required to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth, regardless of vaccination status. Masks must be worn at all times while in the hospital. All visitors will
    be given a hospital-approved mask to wear in place of or in addition to their own mask.
  • No food or drink is allowed to be brought into the hospital, either for the patient or visitor.

Number of Visitors Per Patient

  • Patients are allowed one visitor at a time, up to a limit of two different visitors for the duration of their stay. Visitors must be 18 years of age and older.
  • 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.
  • In the adult emergency department: One family member/escort may be permitted during the intake process. 
  • For patients who are being cared for at end-of-life, additional visitors may be allowed at the discretion of the care team.

Visiting Hours at Rhode Island Hospital

  • General visiting hours: 2-7 p.m. (last entry at 6:30 p.m.)

Please note that the Medical Office Center entrance at 2 Dudley Street will be closed to visitors on Sundays. 

Outpatient/Office Visits

If a support person is required for your care, one person may be allowed to accompany you at the discretion of the office. Visitors will be screened prior to being allowed at the visit and must wear a mask at all times. No other visitors will be allowed in the ambulatory practices, including the waiting rooms or common areas. We encourage patients to avoid bringing children to appointments unless the child is the patient. 

The Miriam Hospital

General Guidelines for Visitors at The Miriam Hospital

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.
  • All visitors must show a picture ID. You will be screened upon entry to the hospital and asked to sanitize hands and social distance six feet apart.
  • All visitors are required to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth, regardless of vaccination status. Masks must be worn at all times while in the hospital. All visitors will
    be given a hospital-approved mask to wear in place of or in addition to their own mask.
  • No food or drink is allowed to be brought into the hospital, either for the patient or visitor.

Number of Visitors Per Patient

  • Patients are allowed one visitor at a time, up to a limit of two different visitors for the duration of their stay. Only one visitor will be allowed to visit per three-hour time block, regardless of the length of the visit.
  • In the emergency department: One family member/escort may be permitted during the intake process. 
  • For patients who are being cared for at end-of-life, additional visitors may be allowed at the discretion of the care team.

Visiting Hours at The Miriam Hospital

  • General visiting hours: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. 

Outpatient/Office Visits

If a support person is required for your care, one person may be allowed to accompany you at the discretion of the office. Visitors will be screened prior to being allowed at the visit and must wear a mask at all times. No other visitors will be allowed in the ambulatory practices, including the waiting rooms or common areas. We encourage patients to avoid bringing children to appointments unless the child is the patient. 

Newport Hospital

General Guidelines for Visitors at Newport Hospital

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.
  • All visitors must show a picture ID. You will be screened upon entry to the hospital and asked to sanitize hands and social distance six feet apart.
  • All visitors are required to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth, regardless of vaccination status. Masks must be worn at all times while in the hospital. All visitors will
    be given a hospital-approved mask to wear in place of or in addition to their own mask.
  • No food or drink is allowed to be brought into the hospital, either for the patient or visitor.

Number of Visitors Per Patient

  • Patients may have up to one visitor at a time during designated visitation hours.
    • Behavioral Health Units: One visitor is permitted for the duration of the hospital stay. 
    • Birthing Center: One birthing partner is permitted for the duration of the stay. A doula may also be permitted.
  • In the emergency department: One family member/escort may be permitted during the intake process. 
  • For patients who are being cared for at end-of-life, additional visitors may be allowed at the discretion of the care team.

Visiting Hours at Newport Hospital

  • Medical/Surgical (Turner 2 & 4) and ICU: 1-3 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. 
  • Vanderbilt Inpatient Unit: 2-4 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. 
  • Behavioral Health Unit: 1-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 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.

Outpatient/Office Visits

If a support person is required for your care, one person may be allowed to accompany you at the discretion of the office. Visitors will be screened prior to being allowed at the visit and must wear a mask at all times. No other visitors will be allowed in the ambulatory practices, including the waiting rooms or common areas. We encourage patients to avoid bringing children to appointments unless the child is the patient. 

Lifespan Physician Group Offices

General Guidelines at Lifespan Physician Group Practices

Anyone accompanying a patient will be screened for symptoms or potential exposure to COVID-19. Those who screen positive for any symptoms will not be able to enter the practice, even if they have received a COVID vaccine.

  • Anyone accompanying a patient must be 18 years of age or older unless the child is the patient. 
  • Bring a picture ID. 
  • Everyone will be screened upon entry and asked to sanitize hands and social distance six feet apart.
  • All are required to wear a mask at all times that covers the nose and mouth, regardless of vaccination status. You will be given a hospital-approved mask to wear in place of or in addition to your own mask. 
  • No food or drink is allowed into the practice unless necessary for a test.

Support Person

If a support person is required for your care, at the discretion of the practice, one person may be allowed to accompany you. Please discuss this with the practice prior to arriving for your appointment. 

A support person accompanying a patient must be 18 years of age or older.

No other visitors will be allowed in the practice, including the waiting rooms or common areas. 

Once in the Hospital

  • 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 9/1/21