South Shore Health's Visitor Policy

South Shore Health’s top priority is the safety of our patients, their loved ones, our colleagues, and community. Our visitor policies keep safety in mind while also embracing the healing and positivity that visitors can provide.

You can learn more about our guidelines for visitors here.

Visitor polices for South Shore Health locations, including South Shore Hospital, are detailed below. These policies were most recently updated January 15, 2024.

Visitor Policy Exceptions

Exceptions to South Shore Health’s visitor policies must be approved by a patient’s care team.

The care team will work directly with the patient or the patient’s guardian to determine appropriate exceptions.

Approved exceptions include compassionate care/end of life, discharge teaching, goals of care meetings, attorneys, patient guardians, and designated support persons for patients with a disability or special needs.

For visitation outside of normal visiting hours at South Shore Hospital (11 AM to 8 PM), please speak to the patient’s care team.

South Shore Hospital

Visitor policies at South Shore Hospital vary depending on the patient population. Specific policies can be found below.

Normal visiting hours are 11 AM to 8 PM, seven days a week.

COVID Positive or Suspected Positive Patients

One adult visitor (age 18+) may visit during normal visiting hours with prior approval of the care team.

Exceptions must be approved by a patient’s care team.

Inpatient Units (Including Critical Care Unit) and Emergency Room Observation, Annex and West Units

Two visitors at a time per patient room may visit during normal visiting hours. Visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult (age 18+).

Please note that in the Critical Care Unit, minor visitors are not permitted except in certain circumstances. Exceptions must be approved by a patient's care team.

Normal visiting hours are 11 AM to 8 PM, seven days a week.

Please observe a limit of two visitors at a time per patient room.

While there is no restriction on the total number of visitors per day, visitors are asked to self-monitor the number of visitors in one room at a time.

If more than two visitors arrive, they may rotate using the McKim Family Main Entrance waiting area.

All visitors must exit through the Emergency Department after 8 PM.

Exceptions must be approved by a patient's care team.

Emergency Department

Adult patients are allowed one support person, while minor patients are allowed two parents/guardians during their stay.

To ensure the safety and privacy of our ED patients and colleagues, there may be times we ask support people to wait outside the treatment area.

Exceptions must be approved by a patient’s care team.

Special Care Nursery/NICU

Both parents/caregivers may visit from 8 AM to 8 PM for the duration of the patient’s stay. Masks are encouraged at the bedside. 

In addition to parents/caregivers, two adult visitors (age 18+) may visit per day during normal visiting hours.

No minor visitors are permitted, including siblings. 

Normal visiting hours are 11 AM to 8 PM, seven days a week.

Pediatrics

Both parents/caregivers may visit from 8 AM to 8 PM for the duration of their child’s stay. One parent/caregiver may stay overnight for the duration of their child’s stay.

Additionally, two adult visitors (age 18+) at a time per patient room may visit during normal visiting hours.

With the exception of a patient’s siblings, minor visitors are not permitted. Siblings must be accompanied by an adult (age 18+).

Normal visiting hours are 11 AM to 8 PM, seven days a week.

Please observe a limit of two visitors at a time per patient room.

While there is no restriction on the total number of visitors per day, visitors are asked to self-monitor the number of visitors in one room at a time.

If more than two visitors arrive, they may rotate using the McKim Family Main Entrance waiting area.

All visitors must exit through the Emergency Department after 8 PM.

Exceptions must be approved by a patient's care team.

Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Patients may have support person(s) (age 18+) accompany them to outpatient appointments. Children under the age of 18 years old are not permitted.

Exceptions must be approved by a patient’s care team.

Please contact your provider with any questions.

Labor & Delivery/Maternity

Patients may have two support people during labor and birth. One support person, designated by the patient, may visit freely for the duration of a patient's stay.

A doula is also permitted for labor and birth.

No COVID-positive individual is permitted to be present as a partner/support person during labor, birth, or on the Maternity Unit.

On the Maternity Unit, two adult visitors (age 18+) at a time may visit during normal visiting hours.

With the exception of the patient’s siblings, minor visitors are not permitted. Siblings must be accompanied by an adult (age 18+).

Normal visiting hours are 11 AM to 8 PM, seven days a week.

Please observe a limit of two visitors at a time per patient room.

While there is no restriction on the total number of visitors per day, visitors are asked to self-monitor the number of visitors in one room at a time.

If more than two visitors arrive, they may rotate using the McKim Family Main Entrance waiting area.

All visitors must exit through the Emergency Department after 8 PM.

Outpatient Surgical Services

One support person may accompany a patient to the surgical center and to the pre-surgery area.

The support person is encouraged to leave the building when the patient goes into surgery and will be called by the patient's care team post-surgery.

Guidelines for South Shore Hospital Visitors

South Shore Hospital visitors must enter through the McKim Family Main Entrance during normal visiting hours (11 AM to 8 PM).

Outside of normal visiting hours, approved visitors must use the Emergency Department entrance.

Visitors will be screened for wellness and are required to sanitize their hands before visiting a patient.

While visiting, visitors are encouraged to stay in the patient's room or in the McKim Family Main Entrance waiting areas.

Visitors may also shop in our Friendly Shop, purchase food from our Lobby Café, and eat in our main dining room.

Mask Policy for Visitors

Effective May 12, 2023, masks will be optional except for at the Cancer Centers. Learn more about our mask policy change and view frequently asked questions about our updated mask policy.

Virtual Visitation

To help patients stay connected with their loved ones, we encourage the use of personal electronic devices (FaceTime, Zoom, etc.) whenever possible.

For patients who need assistance or do not have a device, we will help facilitate virtual visits. Patients should speak to their care team.

Loved ones who would like help scheduling a virtual visit with a patient, please call 781-624-8888 (weekdays 8 AM to 4 PM - please leave message) or email advocacy [at] southshorehealth.org (advocacy@southshorehealth.org).

Outpatient and Ambulatory Sites

At our ambulatory medical practices, including South Shore Medical Center, the Center for Wound Healing, and 2 Pond Park Multispecialty Clinic, support person(s) may accompany patients as needed.

Health Express

Support person(s) may accompany patients as needed. 

Dana Farber Brigham Cancer Center at South Shore Health

Effective Monday, December 18, Dana Farber Brigham Cancer Center in clinical affiliation with South Shore Health reinstated its masking requirement for all colleagues, patients and visitors in all patient care and public spaces for patients in order to mitigate the spread of respiratory viruses. This updated policy helps protect vulnerable cancer patients, who may be moderately-to-severely immunocompromised. 

Masks are required at 101 Columbian Street and in the Radiation Oncology area only at 51 Performance Drive.