Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center Visitor Policy

The Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center visitor policy has been updated.
Effective Monday, October 10, 2022.

This policy applies to the following locations:

  • Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinics Heater Road (Lebanon, New Hampshire)
  • Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinics Lyme (Lyme, New Hampshire)
  • Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (Lebanon, New Hampshire)
  • Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center Outpatient Surgery Center (Lebanon, New Hampshire)
  • The Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care (Lebanon, New Hampshire)
  • Dartmouth Cancer Center St. Johnsbury (St. Johnsbury, Vermont)

For information about visitor policies at other Dartmouth Health facilities and locations, please review the guidelines for each location.


Welcome to our hospital and clinics

Families, friends and other visitors can help patients heal. You play a key role in helping us create a safe, healing place for all patients and families.

Patients 18 and older may choose who to bring or have with them at the hospital or any of our clinics. Patients under 18 must decide with parents.

Please note that there may be times when we limit visits due to safety concerns, such as during a disease outbreak.

All visitors must wear face masks and follow safety rules

You must wear a medical face mask that covers your nose and mouth at all times—even if you have gotten vaccine shots. You can pick up a mask at the entrance of any of our buildings.

If you are not able to wear a mask, you must have a letter from a medical provider stating that you are not able to do so. In this case, you must wear a face shield. If you need something different, please let us know before you arrive for a visit.

You must follow these safety rules:

  • Eating and drinking: Follow rules posted about eating or drinking in patient rooms or outpatient waiting areas.
  • Staff instructions: Follow other staff instructions, which may include wearing other protection along with a face mask.

If you are not able to follow these safety rules, you may be asked to leave.

Visitor guidelines for the health and safety of all

If you are sick, please do not visit.

General rules for all visitors

  • Patients may choose who they would like to be with them at all times. Some areas may determine that patient care needs will not allow for more than 1 support person. This may happen when:
    • There is a disease outbreak. If this happens, 1 support person may be with the patient. We will tell you how to protect yourself and give other directions.
    • The patient needs extra rest or care.
    • Space does not allow for more visitors.
  • We suggest that no more than 3 people visit at one time for most inpatients. Staff may limit the number of people at the bedside.
  • We suggest keeping a 3-foot distance between you and others.
  • Please keep noise levels low. Quiet is important for healing.
  • Breastfeeding visitors: A visitor who is breastfeeding may bring their infant with them.
  • Visitors under age 18: Visitors under age 18 must be supervised by an adult who is not a patient. They may not stay overnight.
  • Waiting areas: Please check with the Information Desk about where to wait for visits.
  • Phone and video visits: For information about how to connect with loved ones in the hospital by using your device, please refer to the Virtual Visits During Your Stay page. If you do not have a personal device or don’t know how to connect, please talk with your care team about how we can help.

If you have questions or special requests about these rules, please talk with the nurse leader on the unit.

Visitor guidelines for specific cases

The following guidelines apply to specific units and types of visits.

Adult inpatient and ICU visitors

  • No more than 3 people may visit at one time for most inpatients.
  • 1 person may be able to stay overnight.
  • Staff may limit the number of visitors when necessary.

Adult outpatient appointments and procedures

  • The patient may choose who to have join them for the appointment or procedure.

Pediatric (child) inpatient (including PICU) visitors

  • Family members, friends and visitors may be with patients in the hospital.
  • 1 person may stay overnight.

Pediatric (child) outpatient appointments and procedures

  • Parents may choose who to have join them for the appointment or procedure.

Intensive care nursery (ICN) visitors

  • 2 people may be present at the bedside. 1 must be a parent.

Birthing Pavilion visitors

  • 3 people may be present with the patient during labor.
  • Before and after labor and delivery, 1 person may stay overnight.
  • Family members, friends and visitors may be with the patient in the hospital.

Post anesthesia care unit (PACU – recovery unit) visitors

  • 1 person may be present at the bedside when the patient is less sedated and has reached certain milestones.

Inpatient psychiatry visitors

  • Family, friends and visitors may be present with the patient between the hours of 4 and 8 pm.

End-of-life patient visitors

End-of-life patients are those who are at risk of death within 24 hours by the doctor of record and those who are receiving “comfort care only”.

  • Family, friends and visitors may be with patients in the hospital.
  • The number of people who may stay overnight is decided after discussion with the nurses.

Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care visitors

  • Family, friends and visitors may be with patients in the hospital.
  • The number of people who may stay overnight is decided after discussion with the nurses.

Emergency Department visitors

  • 2 people may be present at the bedside.
  • 1 person may be able to stay overnight. Speak with nursing about requests to stay overnight.

Cancer Center visitors

  • Family, friends and visitors may be with the patient.
  • No more than 2 people may accompany the patient for clinic visits.
  • No more than 1 person may accompany the patient in infusion.
  • For pediatric infusion, the number of visitors is decided on a case-by-case basis by the pediatric team.

Visitors for patients confirmed or suspected to have a contagious illness

Examples of contagious illnesses are COVID-19, Influenza, and C. diff.

  • Family, friends and visitors may be with patients in the hospital.
  • Please see the nurse before entering the room. Personal protective equipment (PPE) may be suggested or required.