Visitor Policies | Medical Center | UC Davis Health

Medical Center Visitor Policies

Updated July 18, 2023

Our top priority is always patient safety.

To help keep viruses and infectious illnesses out of UC Davis Medical Center, we have policies for guests of our patients to follow.

Guests of patients are allowed to visit if they meet our policy criteria explained below. The policy applies to:

  • Inpatient and outpatient services within the UC Davis Medical Center hospital building and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Visitors to adult and pediatric patients

Some of our care services may also have additional policies about the number of guests allowed. Before you go, check specific guidelines below for the department or unit you are visiting.

All of our guest policies are subject to change at any time. Changes may not be listed on this website. Please follow any instructions given by our staff.

Thank you for your understanding.

Visitor Requirements

We require all hospital and emergency department guests to check in at the guest relations desk before entering.

General visiting hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

We do not require patients and essential caregivers to wear face masks during their clinic appointment and in waiting areas. However, masks are available to patients, visitors and employees who want to wear them.

Important considerations:

  • If a person is coughing or sneezing, we may ask them to wear a face mask while waiting and during their visit.
  • If the person accompanying the patient has signs of illness (such as runny nose, sneezing, fever, chills, coughing), that person should wait for the patient at home or in a vehicle outside the clinic.
  • If a patient or guest requests their health care providers or care team members to wear masks, they will do so. Please ask.

In all cases, guests of patients are only allowed if they are not ill or do not have symptoms of illness (such as fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath).

Sometimes, we may limit guests for COVID-positive patients during the quarantine period. For example:

  • Two guests are allowed to visit adult patients (including patients who are COVID-positive) in the hospital. They will be able to rotate with other family members or friends. There is no limit on the number of guests who can visit. However, only two guests per patient will be allowed inside the hospital at a time.
  • Adult COVID-positive patients at the end of life or having physical, intellectual, cognitive and/or developmental disabilities may have one support person stay and quarantine with the patient. The support person must be determined essential to care or deemed medically necessary. The support person may not leave the room.
  • For pediatric COVID-positive patients, two asymptomatic parents/legal guardians may stay and quarantine in the patient’s room so long as the parent/guardian has no more than mild COVID-19 symptoms. (Meals will be provided.) If a parent/guardian does leave the room, they can no longer stay with the child. 
    Patients in the NICU: If parents/guardians are COVID-positive or have any symptoms of illness, they are not permitted to enter the NICU. One caregiver will be able to visit, as long as they are not from the same household with the COVID-positive parents/guardians.
  • Obstetrical/Postpartum and Labor and Delivery COVID-positive patients may have one support person stay and quarantine with the patient so long as the support person does not leave the room.
  • Visitors for COVID-positive patients may be restricted at other specific locations, such as in the Emergency Department, and/or at other times, such as before or after surgery. Please follow the specific policies for the unit you are visiting and check with staff if you have any questions.

We will instruct guests entering an isolation room (including patients who are COVID-positive) about the appropriate use of personal protective gear such as gowns, gloves, masks and/or goggles. Guests are required to wear this gear as instructed by our staff.

Note: These policies are subject to change at any time.

Number of Visitors Allowed

Only two guests per patient will be allowed at bedside at a time. Guests will be able to rotate with other family members or friends. There is no limit on the total number of guests who can visit overall.

We support a philosophy of family-centered care, and we encourage visits by a patient’s family, significant others, and children. However, visiting guidelines may differ for each patient and unit, depending on factors such as the patient’s condition, space in the unit, and safety. Guests under age 16 may have some visiting restrictions, especially ages 10 and younger:

  • An adult must accompany visitors younger than 16.
  • Adult visitors who wish to bring a child age 10 or younger along on a visit will be instructed to call the patient’s care unit before the visit. This is to make sure that nursing staff are able and ready to have young children in the unit.

Note: These policies are subject to change at any time.

  • Emergency Department patients (18 years or older) can have two asymptomatic guests, 24 hours a day, at the bedside. Guests may rotate two at a time; however, they must remain at the bedside. Guests not at bedside are able to wait in the pavilion lobby or cafeteria, not in the emergency department waiting rooms.
  • For pediatric patients, a maximum of two asymptomatic guests at bedside.
  • No guests younger than 16 are allowed to visit.
  • Patients admitted to North 1 may have guests during normal hospital visiting hours, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Note: This is not a complete list of the current visitor policies. These policies are subject to change at any time. 

  • Surgical patients whose guests use the Main Pavilion Surgical Waiting Room (3rd floor) or the Same Day Surgery Waiting Room may have two adult guests. Rare exceptions may be made to have one guest in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) for 10 minutes.
  • Pediatric surgical patients whose guests use the Children’s Surgery Center Surgical Waiting Room (2nd floor) may have two adult guests. Rare exceptions may be made based on the limited ability to have visitors in the Children’s Surgery Center's Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) for short periods of time.

Note: These policies are subject to change at any time.

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

  • Each pediatric patient can have four designated visitors who can visit without the caregivers/parents being present. The caregivers/parents will designate these four visitors in writing to the unit. The primary caregivers/parents must accompany all other visitors.
  • For the PICU and Davis 7 units, caregivers/parents are allowed to stay in the hospital 24/7. However, space may be limited, and the units are only able to accommodate overnight stays for one caregiver/parent at the bedside.
  • Caregivers/parents of NICU patients may visit 24/7. However, they are not able to sleep at the bedside.
  • COVID-positive patients are allowed guests. However, parents who are COVID-positive and asymptomatic/mildly symptomatic must quarantine in the patient’s room.

Note: These policies are subject to change at any time.

  • Labor and delivery patients may have up to two support persons/partners, depending on the situation.
  • One preapproved doula can also be present. Arrangements must be made ahead of time with the hospital and the doula must follow hospital personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection-control guidelines. View our birth center visitor page for more information. Call the University Birthing Suites at 916-703-3030 to begin the doula preapproval process.

Patients who are at the end of life may have two loved ones at a time at the bedside, and may rotate additional loved ones.

Patients who have an appointment at UC Davis ambulatory clinics, UC Davis Cancer Center, laboratory or radiology may have two support people with them. There may be exceptions in limited pediatric situations or when another person is needed for the patient’s care team.

(These facilities usually serve outpatients but may still be located on the medical center’s Sacramento campus).

View our policy for outpatient visitors/guests/caregivers at UC Davis Health clinics

Alternatives To In-Person Visiting

UC Davis Health can provide an iPad for a patient to video call loved ones (via Zoom or other digital platforms).

A man waving to his family member in the hospital, via an online app.
Additional Hospital Visitor Resources