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

In response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic—and to protect our patients, staff and communities—we have made critical changes to our visitor policy.

No Visitors

No visitors are permitted in the hospital and clinics, with very limited exceptions, to ensure everyone’s safety during COVID-19. While we understand this is difficult, it is based on public health recommendations. Patients who are children are allowed one caregiver to accompany them.

We understand that family members and friends are an important part of the healing process and, when possible, we encourage patients to use mobile devices to stay in touch with loved ones during their visits.

We will consider exceptions in the following circumstances:

End-of-life care
  • Up to two visitors are allowed (more information about number of visitors allowed will be provided by clinical leadership on a case-by-case basis)
  • 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
Obstetrics (laboring or post-partum patient)
  • Asymptomatic laboring patients are permitted to have one 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 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
For more information, please see the Updated Policy for Obstetrical Labor and Delivery Patients and Visitors.
Pediatrics
  • All children admitted to a pediatric inpatient unit, including those with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, will be allowed one asymptomatic adult (> age 18 years) visitor, either a parent or other caregiver at a time, 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 children
  • The same 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
  • Decisions about whether the 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
  • As parents are not in personal protective equipment while in the patient room, parents/caregivers of a pediatric patient will be instructed to shower or change into a new set of clothes before leaving the inpatient environment or, if not available, when arriving home. They are instructed to shower and change into a new set of clothes before re-entering the inpatient environment
  • Parents/caregivers are instructed to practice Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended best practices regarding hand-washing, physical distancing, and minimization of exposures while in the community, including separation from any sick household members who are in self-isolation
To learn more, visit the MassGeneral Hospital for Children website.
Special Populations
  • Caregiver/support person of adult patients who require someone's assitance to routinely manage their disability or care will be considered, subject to all the restrictions 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 patents
  • For additional information, please see the Updated Policy for Visitors for Patients with Disabilities

Any requests for visitors or circumstances not included in this policy must be approved in advance by hospital infection control or their designee.

Masks Required for Entering the Hospital

Everyone—including patients, staff and vendors—will be screened for symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Individuals free from COVID-19 will be allowed to enter Mass General and supplied with hand sanitizer and a clean mask. Masks must be worn as part of our continued efforts to protect our patients.

  • Patients: All patients—including those in inpatient areas, emergency departments, ambulatory settings and peri-procedural areas—must wear the mask provided
  • Vendors and other personnel: All other entrants to the hospital—including approved vendors, contractors, EMS personnel and law enforcement—must immediately put on the mask provided and wear it continuously until leaving the building

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

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.

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

Waiting Room for Families

A family waiting room is available on the second floor of the Yawkey Building (Room 2E-2700). A small consultation room is available for family members to speak privately with a doctor. The room is open 8:00 am until 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. After 5:00 pm (Monday through Friday), families can wait in the Blum Center, located on the first floor of the White Building (Room 110).

The phone number for the Family Waiting Area is 617-726-2078.

Cafeterias

There are several cafeterias located within the hospital. Please view one of the maps to find the closest cafeteria or ask at the information desk.

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 >

Meals With a Patient

Visitors can share a meal with the patient they are visiting. To order a guest meal, notify the assistant at the nurse's station before 11:00 am for lunch and before 3:00 pm for dinner or for breakfast the next day. Please check with your Nutrition and Food Services representative for current price information. If you are planning to bring food into the hospital for a patient, please check with the patient's nurse or clinician before doing so.

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