A smiling woman with a toddlerWe understand that visits from family members and friends are an important part of the healing process. Learn what you need to know before visiting patients at Mass General.

IMPORTANT: Updated Visitor Policy (Last updated December 17, 2020)

Dear family and friends of Mass General inpatients: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no visitors to inpatients are allowed at this time. This will help us create a safe environment for our patients, families and staff. We use masks, hand hygiene and social/physical distancing to help keep everyone safe. Unit staff will review any exceptions to these restrictions with you at the time of your visit.

Note: There are limited exceptions to these restrictions for parents and other adult caregivers of pediatric patients, support persons of obstetric patients, caregivers of patients with a disability and visitors to patients at the end-of-life.

Visitors who meet the exception criteria, please:
  • Call the patient care unit before visiting to make sure it is a good time for you to visit
  • Use your phone to communicate with and support your loved one
  • Ask a nurse about other options we can provide to help you stay in touch
Normas para visitas durante la pandemia de COVID-19 >

Visitor Screening

Upon arrival at the hospital, all visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. Visitors with symptoms may not visit. 

Wearing a Mask

Visitors must wear a Mass General-issued mask at all times while in the hospital. Make sure that your mask always covers your mouth and nose. 

Hand Hygiene 

Wash your hands frequently, or use the hand sanitizer available throughout the hospital. If you arrive with disposable gloves on, please take them off, throw them away and perform hand hygiene.

Behavior While Visiting

Please check in with the nurses' station on the unit prior to entering the patient's room each time you visit the patient. You may be asked to wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE). Once you are in the patient's room, stay there for the entire visit, except to use the public restroom.

Lounges on the inpatient units are closed, and at this time, visitors are not permitted in the gift shop or other common areas. Note that visitors who meet the exception criteria may visit the cafeteria if they are in the hospital for a long period of time. 

Leaving the Hospital

Once your visit is over, please exit the hospital immediately. Please do not remove your mask until you are in your car or off hospital grounds. 

Visitors for Labor and Delivery Patients

Only your birth partner can accompany you throughout your labor and postpartum stay as long as they as they do not have a known infection or symptoms of COVID 19. They must remain with the patient (e.g., in inpatient room, exam room or in waiting room with patient) or with their Mass General host for the entirety of their visit or will be asked to leave and wait outside. They are permitted brief visits to the cafeteria or gift shop at the discretion of local leadership.At this time, no additional support person can accompany you or visit during your stay on Labor and Delivery or during your postpartum stay. 

For more information, please see "Labor and Delivery" under "Visiting Specific Patient Care Areas" below.

Visiting Specific Patients

Pediatric Patients
  • There are no additional restrictions on time spent with the patient in the patient’s room or requirements for physical distancing within the room, to permit the most supportive care environment for children
  • The same parent/caregiver will be encouraged to stay with the patient during the entire admission, with no access to shared patient and family spaces on the pediatric inpatient unit. An additional parent/caregiver is permitted in patient care areas at discretion of local leadership
  • Decisions about whether the parent/caregiver can accompany the patient off the inpatient unit for a procedure will be made on a case-by-case basis
  • Asymptomatic parents/caregivers of pediatric patients hospitalized with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will be instructed to practice isolation if they return home
  • Parents/caregivers are instructed to practice CDC-recommended best practices regarding use of facemasks, hand-washing, physical distancing, and minimization of exposures while in the community, including separation from any sick household members who are in self-isolation
  • Local leadership may determine the appropriateness of PPE in addition to universal mask in specific parent/caregiver-child situations
Special Assistance
  • The same designated support person (or small team of alternating support persons with only one person on site at any given time) will be encouraged to stay with the patient throughout the admission, with no access to shared patient and family spaces on the inpatient unit
  • Decisions about whether the support person can accompany the patient off the inpatient unit for a procedure will be made on a case-by-case basis by local leadership
  • Local leadership may determine the appropriateness of PPE in addition to universal mask in specific contexts regarding patients with disabilities and their support person
  • Asymptomatic support persons of patients with disabilities hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 will be instructed to practice quarantine if they return home, as they are considered exposed to the hospitalized patient with confirmed COVID-19

Visiting Specific Patient Care Areas

Labor and Delivery
  • Asymptomatic laboring patients are permitted to have one birth partner/support person who is asymptomatic as per above
  • Laboring patients who are confirmed COVID-19, CoV-Presumed suspect COVID-19 (CoV-Risk), and with known exposure to COVID-19 (CoV-Exposed), are permitted to have one birth partner/support person who is asymptomatic as per above
  • There are no additional restrictions on time spent with the patient in the patient’s room or requirements for physical distancing within the room, to permit the most supportive care environment for patients
  • The birth partner/support person must remain with the patient (e.g., in inpatient room, exam room, or in waiting room with patient) or with their Mass General host for the entirety of their visit or will be asked to leave and wait outside. They are permitted brief visits to the cafeteria or gift shop at the discretion of local leadership
At this time, no additional support person can accompany you or visit during your stay on labor and delivery or during your postpartum stay. 

Note: The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology maintains visitor guidelines on a separate page. For the most up-to-date information about the OB/GYN visitor policy, please see the Updated Policy for Obstetrical Labor and Delivery Patients and Visitors.

Procedural Areas
  • Some procedural areas may be able to accommodate a small number of escorts in their waiting areas if social/physical distancing can be maintained
  • One or both parents or other adult caregiver may accompany a pediatric patient to all procedural areas
Ambulatory Practices
  • No visitors are allowed in the ambulatory setting
  • Practices will accommodate one support person for patients with disabilities who require a support person
    • If there are any concerns with a support person for a patient with disabilities, please contact the MGB Office of General Counsel (OGC)
  • Exceptions for one Essential Visitor/Support Person may be granted by ambulatory practice leadership for:
    1. Patients who require help with mobility or support
    2. Law enforcement officers working in an official capacity
    3. Pediatric patients (patients cared for by a pediatric provider or in a pediatric area) may be accompanied by one or both parents or adult caregiver
    4. Patients with disabilities
    5. Patients receiving end-of-life care
  • Ambulatory areas are to determine patients requiring an Essential Visitor/Support Person at the time of scheduling and should document the exception in EPIC
  • Patients with Special Needs / Disabilities
    • Documented in Special Needs Tab in Epic at patient level
    • Support person flag per encounter is no longer needed as long as Special Needs Tab is complete
Emergency Department
  • No visitors are allowed into the waiting/treatment areas of the Emergency Department
  • Exceptions for a single visitor may be granted by nursing/physician leadership or their designee for:
    • Patients who require help with mobility or support
    • Law enforcement officers working in an official capacity
    • Birth partners of obstetric patients
    • Patients with disabilities 
    • Patients receiving end-of-life care
    • Pediatric patients (patients <22 years old) may be accompanied by one or both parents or guardians
      1. If upon screening in the ED the parent/adult caregiver of a pediatric patient reports COVID symptoms, they will be allowed to remain with the patient
      2. If another parent/guardian is asymptomatic then it would be preferable for that parent/adult caregiver to remain with the patient and for the symptomatic parent/adult caregiver to go home if family determines this to be feasible
      3. If not determined to be feasible the symptomatic parent/adult caregiver must continue wearing a mask at all times. The patient and their parent/adult caregiver will be expedited to a room, placed on Enhanced Respiratory Isolation precautions and all parties must remain in the room at all times. If the parent/adult caregiver cannot comply with these restrictions they may be asked to leave
      4. If the patient needs to be admitted, then local leadership of the admitting floor should follow their existing policies and may contact infection control if needed to review the situation
      5. Siblings of a child who is a patient will be allowed to accompany their parent/caregiver in all areas of the ED when childcare options are not readily available as long as the parent/caregiver is able to continue to care for them. The parent/caregiver should continue to attempt to find alternative childcare options for the siblings of the child who is a patient while in the ED

      6. Infection Control support is available seven days/week from 8:00 am through 9:00 pm. Please do not page the on-call ID fellow overnight regarding these situations.

Download a PDF with more visitor information >

Mass General Patient Guide

Download the Mass General Patient Guide, a resource to help you during and after your stay at the hospital. You’ll find:
  • Answers to questions frequently asked by patients, families and friends
  • Information about your care team during your stay
  • Amenities and services available
  • How to get ready for your care after discharge
  • A section for note-taking and writing questions for your care team
  • How to send a card or gift to a patient

Information for Visitors

Before visiting a patient, please speak with the patient's nurse or clinician to determine the best time to visit or to discuss the number of visitors or any unusual visiting circumstances that might require special arrangements.

Visitation privileges will not be limited or denied based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Visitors may include a spouse, adult child, parent, close relative, friend, domestic partner, and both different-sex and same-sex significant others. Same-sex parents shall have the same access as different-sex parents for their minor children.

Information Desks

Information desks are located throughout the hospital buildings, near many of the major entrances. Desk staff members are knowledgeable and can help answer any questions. 

Patient Information/Patient Privacy

Patient privacy is important to Mass General. Patients have the right to limit access and confidentiality. Patients can indicate to the admissions or nursing staff that no information is to be shared about their condition and/or that they wish not to have visitors. If such a request has been made, it will be communicated to you. Learn more about our commitment to patient privacy.

Patient Status Inquiries and Telephone Calls

Patient information is available by calling 617-726-2070. Your call will be forwarded to the patient's unit, where you can speak directly to the patient's nurse or clinician.

Please note: For patients in Intensive Care Units, only questions from immediate family members can be answered.

Infectious Diseases

For visitors who have been exposed to infectious diseases such as Chicken Pox, Tuberculosis (TB), Mumps or Measles within three weeks of their visit, please speak with the patient's nurse before visiting.

Download a PDF with more visitor information >

Contact a Patient or Employee

Send mail to a patient or employee at Mass General by using one of the following addresses.
Please do not send urgent or confidential information.
To Write to a Patient:
Attention: Patient Name
Building and room number
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696
To Write to an Employee:
Attention: Employee Name
Mail Code, Building and room number
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696