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COVID-19: Children's Hospital Visitor Information and FAQs

Information for Parents/Caregivers of Our Patients

Can I visit a patient who is currently hospitalized at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital?

To protect patients, families, employees and the community during the outbreak of COVID-19, the Children’s Hospital is currently limiting visits from families. 

Restrictions include: 

  • For children in the hospital who do not have COVID-19:
    • Two visitors, with at least one being an adult parent or caregiver, may be at the bedside during the visiting hours of 10 am to 6 pm.  
    • Given the increase in respiratory viruses, no sibling visitation is advised at this time.
    • The maximum number of visitors at the bedside at one time is two.
    • Only one adult parent or caregiver may stay at the bedside overnight when visiting hours are over. This person can switch off overnight stays with one other adult during the hospitalization every 3 days.*
  • If the child has COVID-19, then one parent or caregiver may remain in the patient’s room at all times until discharge. Switching off with another parent or caregiver will not be allowed. 
  • All visitors must acknowledge a lack of COVID-19 symptoms upon entry to the hospital in order to be allowed to visit. 
  • All visitors (over the age of 2 years) must wear a facemask in all areas of the hospital, including in the patient’s room. 
  • All visitors should wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer frequently. 
  • Parents or caregivers that remain with a child in their room will be checked for COVID-19 symptoms (such as fever, cough, shortness of breath) twice a day. 
  • If found to have symptoms of illness, the parent or caregiver will be asked to remain in the patient’s room until they are able to find a healthy caregiver to replace him or her.

*If I stay at my child’s bedside overnight do I need to be tested for COVID-19?

Yes. Due to the high transmissibility of the COVID-19 delta variant, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital is taking additional safety measures to protect you and your child. The Children’s Hospital requires COVID testing of all guardians / caregivers who plan on staying overnight with their admitted child, regardless of vaccination status.

Because some infected individuals may be symptom-free and because sleeping is an unmasked activity, this increases the risk of infection for all who are near unmasked individuals - specifically your child and anyone else who enters the room.

The hospital will provide you with a COVID test unless you can show proof of a negative PCR COVID test that has resulted in the past 72 hours OR you have had a positive COVID test in the last 90 days, per CDC guidance. Testing is required in order to sleep at the bedside regardless of their vaccination status. Family members can switch out who stays at the bedside every 72 hours. If your child is hospitalized longer than three days, the caregiver spending the night in the hospital must be tested every five days.

Why is Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital and its Outpatient Pediatric Specialty Centers limiting visitors?

COVID-19 will continue to spread in our community. To keep our patients, families and staff from getting the virus, we have decided to limit the number of visitors entering our buildings.

My child or I are currently receiving inpatient care at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. What should I expect?

All parents or guardians must remain in a surgical mask while in the patient's room and in the hospital. They will also be screened for a fever and any other symptoms associated with COVID-19 such as cough and shortness of breath twice daily. This screening will be performed by the patient's nurse or PCA.

Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital Pediatric Specialty Centers

Can I bring siblings or other family members to my child’s appointment at a Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital Outpatient Pediatric Specialty Center?

No. A maximum of one primary caregiver can accompany a patient who has an appointment at any of our outpatient locations. The primary caregiver must be 18 years of age or over, and free of any illness-related symptoms (temperature of 100.4F or greater, runny nose, cough, GI symptoms). Our staff is happy to assist an additional parent / caregiver to join the visit by telephone or video. Everyone else, including siblings of any age, may not accompany you and your child to your child’s visit. These restrictions may change; please follow Yale New Haven Health's ambulatory visitor restrictions. For more info visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information page.

Does my child need to wear a mask to their appointment at the Pediatric Specialty Center?

Yes. All patients and their parent /caregiver, regardless of vaccination status must wear a face mask throughout your visit. Face masks should cover both the nose and mouth. Patients and visitors who arrive with a cloth mask, gaiter, bandana or mask with exhalation valve will be provided with a disposable medical mask.

What if I or my child have some symptoms of the cold or flu and we have an upcoming appointment?

Call the appointment location and tell us about your symptoms. We will ask you additional questions and give you instructions for next steps.

How to Protect Your Family from COVID-19

Should I wear a mask if I do not have any symptoms?

Yes, face masks are recommended in public settings. They should not be placed on children under 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Patients and visitors must wear a health system approved surgical mask while at any of Yale New Haven Health's hospitals, outpatient centers, ambulatory sites or clinics. Masks are to cover both the nose and mouth. Patients and visitors who arrive with a cloth mask, gaiter, bandana or mask with exhalation valves will be provided a health system approved face mask.

I am concerned that I may have been exposed to COVID-19. Should I go to Urgent Care or the Emergency Department?

No. You should only go to the Emergency Department if you are experiencing serious symptoms. This will help limit the spread of the virus in our community as well as allow our emergency departments to care for patients with the most critical needs first. If you believe that you may have been exposed to the virus, or are concerned about your symptoms, first call your primary care provider and follow their instructions.

How does this virus spread and what can I do to protect myself and my family?

Coronaviruses are typically spread through direct contact with someone who has an infection (like touching or shaking hands) or touching something that someone with the disease may have touched, and not washing your hands right away. To help limit your exposure to this virus, wear a mask around others outside your immediate household, practice social distancing and wash your hands often.

Learn more about how families can stay safe