Ensuring the health and safety of our patients and staff is our top priority as we continue to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19. Limiting the number of people in our facilities is one of our most important safeguards. To maintain proper social distancing and comply with New York Department of Health regulations, we must limit the number of visitors.
On May 13, the CDC stated that people who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks or maintain social distancing in most situations. However, the CDC also noted that people with weakened immune conditions, such as cancer, should talk to their healthcare provider about the need for protective measures even after vaccination. Therefore, to protect our patients from COVID-19, MSK requires that all staff, patients, and visitors must continue to wear masks in all patient care and clinical areas at MSK. This requirement includes people who are fully vaccinated.
As of August 25, we also request that all visitors to any MSK location are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This is for the safety of our patients and staff.
Please note that our visitor policy for inpatients and outpatients may change abruptly at any time, depending on the severity of the pandemic.
For everyone’s safety and convenience, visitors should register one day in advance using the visitor registration form. All visitors must be at least 12 years old.
In-person visitors are only allowed in the following circumstances:
- Visiting hours for the inpatient hospital units, including the inpatient unit at the David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care, as well as Memorial Hospital inpatient floors 7, 8, 12, and 14 will now be from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Two registered visitors are allowed, separately, per day during visiting hours. Only one visitor is allowed at the bedside at a time. Visitors can switch out once per day.
- Patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Memorial Hospital will be allowed a maximum of two visitors per day between the hours of 11:00 am and 6:00 pm. Only one visitor is allowed at the bedside at a time. Visitors can switch out once per day, but any visitor who is not in a patient’s room must exit the hospital. Waiting in the hallway, cafeteria or lobby is not allowed.
- Visitors are required to wear the mask provided to them during their entire visit, including while inside patient rooms.
- Visitors must go directly to a patient room – they are not permitted in any other parts of our facilities. If a hospitalized patient is having surgery, one visitor will be allowed to remain on premises, lobby space permitting. This includes inpatient and outpatient or ambulatory extended recovery/overnight patients at all MSK sites.
- All visitors should enter at the Main Entrance at 1275 York Avenue, where they must check in.
- Patients at the end-of-life will be permitted to have two visitors at the same time, with the ability to swap or exchange visitors at 60-minute intervals throughout the day. End of life visitation may be different on some floors; please ask a nurse about the policy on the floor you’re planning to visit.
- Visitation is not permitted for patients who test newly positive for COVID-19 upon admission until 10 days after the initial positive test.
- Patients who are undergoing outpatient infusions (such as chemotherapy) or diagnostic services (such as radiology examinations) are allowed to have one visitor.
- Radiation oncology patients may now have one visitor for all appointments, including their initial consult, simulation, treatment, and follow up care.
- Visitors will now be allowed to remain on premises, lobby space permitting, if they are accompanying patients undergoing interventional radiological (IR) procedures at all MSK sites, including the David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care, Main Campus IR, MSK Commack, and MSK Westchester.
- One visitor will be allowed to remain on premises, lobby space permitting, if they are accompanying patients undergoing outpatient or ambulatory extended recovery/overnight surgery at Memorial Hospital, the Josie Robertson Surgery Center and all other MSK locations.
- Patients who have an appointment with their doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or clinic nurse will be allowed to have one person accompany them during their appointment.
- The Urgent Care Center (UCC), Clinical Decision Unit (CDU), and Symptom Care Clinics (SCC) will allow one registered visitor in these areas.
- For outpatients who are newly diagnosed with COVID-19, and are onsite in isolation, visitors are not permitted while the patient is in isolation.
- Pediatric inpatients are permitted to have one caregiver with them around the clock, with the ability to swap every 3 days. A second caregiver will also be permitted during visiting hours, which are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm daily.
- Unvaccinated caregivers accompanying an inpatient will undergo a COVID-19 swab test prior to admission, as well as every Monday and Thursday throughout the inpatient stay. Unvaccinated caregivers are only allowed to switch to the alternate caregiver on Mondays and Thursdays, when the Department of Pediatrics does COVID-19 tests.
- Two primary caregivers will be permitted to attend Pediatric Ambulatory Care Center (PACC) outpatient appointments.
What to Know Before Coming to MSK
In general, visitors who have travelled outside of the United States in the last 10 days are not permitted at MSK locations. However, vaccinated visitors accompanying international patients who received approval from the International Center will be permitted.
All visitors will be screened for recent travel, exposure to COVID-19, and symptoms (a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, body aches, chills, or new loss of sense of taste or smell). If the visitor has any of these symptoms, they will not be allowed to visit.
All patients, staff, and visitors must wear masks in all patient care and clinical areas at MSK. An MSK staff member will give you a mask when you arrive. Please wear that mask at all times.
For patients with appointments at Memorial Hospital, please use the entrance at 1275 York Avenue between 67th and 68th Streets.
For patients who need help getting out of the car and into the building, an MSK staff member will be able to meet and assist them.
We appreciate your understanding as we continue to make adjustments to our policies and procedures to protect our patients and staff.
Virtual Visitor Program
We understand how important it is for your loved ones to be together when facing cancer, and we’re here to help. Whether your loved one is admitted to the hospital or coming in for an outpatient appointment, we have ways to keep you connected.
Caregivers and loved ones can use technology to stay in touch, and we will assist in facilitating those virtual connections. Please feel free to bring a personal device with you to connect with caregivers and loved ones during your appointment and while you are in our care. If you’re new to using technology to keep in contact, we’ve put together some information about how to use common apps to get you started.
For patients at our MSK locations, we have tablets and phones available for use along with staff to help you use them. Patients receiving treatment in our outpatient locations can use the technology in our treatment rooms to video chat with their loved ones during appointments.