Based on sustained reduced incidence of COVID-19, influenza and respiratory illness hospitalizations and community transmission, BJC HealthCare is lifting universal masking requirements in our health care environments effective March 22, 2023. Masks will continue to be readily available for those who prefer to continue wearing a mask, and patients who would prefer their providers wear a mask may request that. Masking in health care facilities helped protect patients, visitors, employees and the community throughout the pandemic and during recent severe respiratory viral illness surges.
Masking remains required when visiting patients who are positive or suspected positive for COVID-19.
To reduce transmission, masking is recommended for those who are showing signs or symptoms of respiratory illness and those with a recent known exposure to someone with a respiratory illness.
Those who prefer to wear masks in BJC facilities are welcome to do so. Respiratory hygiene stations will remain at all facilities.
BJC may reinstate a broad masking requirement in our health care facilities during surges of respiratory viruses such as influenza. BJC infection prevention and infectious diseases specialists will continue to track case rates in the community and among staff, along with hospitalization rates, to evaluate whether and when masking may need to be reinstated to protect patients, visitors and employees.
Having a support system of family, friends and loved ones is an important part of the healing process – physically and mentally. At BJC HealthCare we strive to provide a positive patient experience across our 14 hospitals, multiple health service organizations and 100+ doctors’ offices. A standard visitor policy is part of that experience.
Below please find details from BJC's visitor policy.
“Some BJC hospitals have additional guidance for their facilities. Please check the hospital websites for more information.”
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for BJC health care facility visitation practices that take into consideration patient wishes, their clinical condition, patient privacy, and the safety of all patients, visitors, and staff; and are consistent with applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
BJC HealthCare permits patients to have visitors, seen as partners in caring for our patients, as set forth in this policy. Visitors may include, but are not limited to, family; friends; significant others; professional services such as attorneys, doulas, photographers, hairdressers; or other persons requested by a patient or a patient’s legal guardian or legal representative. A member of clergy is allowed at the bedside and is not included in the total number of visitors.
Visitors are expected to abide by established visiting hours and conditions as set forth in this policy. Visitors are expected to support the quiet healing environment and comply with safety measures to protect patients and staff throughout the duration of the visit.
- Patient’s Right of Visitation
All patients have the right to receive visitors during their inpatient admission or while receiving care in outpatient service areas (e.g., emergency department, outpatient surgery or procedure areas, clinic visits, or other outpatient services), with limited exceptions. Patients, or their legal guardian or legal representative, may also designate who may visit during their visit.
A patient has the right to limit all visitors and/or limit a particular visitor or visitors.
A patient has a right to change his/her mind at any time about accepting visits from anyone, including family members or friends.
The facility will ensure that visitors have access to a patient in a manner consistent with the patient’s preferences.
The facility will not restrict, limit, or otherwise deny a patient’s visitation rights, or limit who a patient may have as a visitor, based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
- Visitor Code of Conduct
Visitors will be respectful of the patient, other patients, and staff at all times.
Visitors must abide by reasonable expectations concerning their behavior within the facility as set forth in this policy and as communicated to them by hospital staff. Violations may result in the removal of visitor.
Visitors must help support a quiet and healing environment.
Where applicable, visitors must comply with all badging and sign-in/sign-out requirements.
Visitors must comply with established guidelines pertaining to isolation, infection control, and other health and safety precautions as instructed by nursing staff, including hand washing and other required safety practices when entering and leaving a patient’s room.
Visitors may be required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as a gown, gloves, mask, face shield as directed by infection prevention.
- Visitors may not consume alcohol, recreational or medical cannabis, or other non-prescription controlled substances while on the BJC Healthcare premises.
Staff may contact Public Safety if a visitor appears intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or other substances, whether such substances prescribed or recreational.
Visitors may not smoke or use other tobacco or cannabis products anywhere in the facility or on facility grounds consistent with the BJC smoke-free policies.
Visitors must keep their voices to a reasonable level and televisions, radios, and other sound devices may not be loud or disturb other patients, especially during Quiet Hours, typically 9am to 9pm.
- Visiting Hours and Conditions
|Area/Dept||Total Number of Visitors Permitted||Visiting Hours|
(Minimum of 6 hours per day)
Emergency Department (ED)
| || |
|Inpatient and ICU|| || |
|Labor and Delivery|| || |
|Post-Partum|| || |
|Outpatient Surgery or Procedure|| || |
|Clinic Visits|| || |
|Outpatient Visits|| || |
|Pediatric Patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital|| || |
|Evelyn’s House|| || |
- Limits on Visitors/Visitation
To ensure the safety of other patients and staff, the facility may limit visitation for the following reasons:
Minors – Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by someone 18 years old or older.
Size and space of the building and physical space, including waiting rooms and during times of patient surge or capacity issues.
Commonly Restricted Areas in Facility such as surgical or procedure areas, isolation rooms or units, behavioral health units or pods, substance abuse treatment programs with protocols around visitation, or other commonly restricted areas.
Request of Patient
Request of Law Enforcement
Substantial Disruption of Care or Operation of Facility
During Administration of Emergency Care or Care that May Harm a Visitor
Signs and Symptoms of Transmissible Infection
Disruptive, Threatening, or Violent Behavior
Reasonable Safety or Security Restrictions or Other Requirements
Attending Physician’s Attestation in Chart if Medical or Therapeutically Contraindicated
Patient Designated as Confidential”, “Protective Status”, “Victim of Violence”, or “Black Out Status”
State of Emergency (SOE) or Public Health Emergency (PHE)
Overnight visitors must be able to care for themselves.
- Removal of Visitor
A visitor who is disruptive or who fails to follow any of the expectations for visitors as set forth in this policy will be asked to stop the disruptive behavior and may be asked to leave the facility temporarily if the behavior does not stop or if it presents an immediate risk to patients or staff.
- Virtual Visitor Policy
- There may be times when isolation becomes a necessary part of care. Please read our virtual visitor policy for more information.