COVID-19 Visitation Policy and Vaccine Requirement

Last updated: February 14, 2022

As COVID-19 cases increase in our region, Stanford Children’s Health has adjusted our policies regarding visits by caregivers/support persons. Your safety is our highest priority. We are working to implement the California State Public Health Officer’s Order requiring caregivers/support persons to be screened upon entry into the hospital for their COVID-19 vaccination status or proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered no more than 72 hours (three days) before your visit to the hospital.

As a reminder, we don’t consider caregivers/support persons to be visitors. We don’t currently allow visitors at our facilities. Thank you for your patience as we work to enforce this state requirement to ensure the safety of our patients, families, and staff.

The state of California requires you to show the following before accompanying a patient indoors at any hospital:

  • Proof that you’re fully vaccinated for COVID-19*
  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered no more than 72 hours (three days) before your visit

*“Fully vaccinated” means you had your second Pfizer or Moderna dose or your single-dose J&J vaccine at least 14 days ago. See your options for providing proof of vaccination below.

Options for providing proof of vaccination

Here are the options allowed by the California Department of Public Health for proving your COVID-19 vaccination status:

  • Physical copy of your vaccine card.
  • Photo of your vaccine card.
  • Digital copy of your vaccine record. If you are a California resident, you can visit California’s Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record portal and enter some details to access a digital copy of your record.
  • Documentation from your health care provider.

Acceptable types of COVID-19 tests

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and antigen tests are both acceptable forms of COVID-19 testing. PCR tests—which detect genetic material from the coronavirus itself—are considered more accurate, but you may need to wait for more than a day or two to get your results. Antigen tests—which look for proteins from the virus—provide quicker results.

Given the turnaround times and the fact that you must undergo your test within three days of your visit to the hospital, you run the risk of not getting your result in time if you get a PCR test. For this reason, you may want to choose an antigen test. One place to look for testing locations is through California’s COVID-19 website, or you may try a Stanford Medicine location.

Getting a COVID-19 test won’t cost you anything. If you have health insurance, your insurance company will pay for it. If you don’t, the state of California will cover the cost.

Clinics and locations not covered by this order

The current California State Health Order does not apply to a caregiver/support person accompanying a patient to an outpatient appointment. At Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, caregivers/support persons going to the locations below will not be required to show proof of vaccine or a negative COVID test.

  • Labs
  • Pharmacy
  • Radiology
  • Infusion Center outpatient clinics

What if I can’t provide documentation of a negative test or COVID vaccination?

We will not cancel or deny care to patients. We will ask you to stay in the patient’s room or the treatment area. If you need to leave, upon your next entry into the hospital, you will be required to show the necessary evidence to comply with the requirement. Per the California State Health Order, we cannot allow caregivers who don’t have proof of meeting the requirement to move throughout the hospital. If you need assistance in obtaining a COVID test or vaccination, please view this flyer for a list of Stanford Medicine locations that are near the hospital.

As case counts increase due to the omicron variant, we are adjusting our policies regarding visits by caregivers and support persons.

Caregivers: Inpatient/Perioperative Areas (Patients Without COVID-19)
Must provide documentation of COVID vaccination or negative COVID test administered within 72 hours of hospital entry

Patient Population




Pediatric Inpatient

Two designated healthy caregivers at the bedside

All hours

Switching/swapping beyond the designated two caregivers is not permitted

(Labor and Delivery/Maternity/Antepartum)

One partner/support persons

All hours

Once the patient is moved to maternity or antepartum after delivery, the partner/support person will need to show proof of vaccine status or a negative test to be admitted to the new unit

Treatment Center/Pediatric Surgery

Two designated caregivers/guardians to accompany patient

During surgery hours

Adult caregivers can wait in Treatment Center Waiting Area during procedure


 General Visitation: Outpatient Areas

Patient Population




Ambulatory Clinics

Two designated
healthy caregivers

Clinic hours

Clinics will ask additional caregivers to wait in waiting area or outside if required for social distancing

Fetal Echo/OB Clinic/REI/PDC

One partner/support persons

Clinic hours

One additional support person, 16 years of age or older, with proof of vaccination status or a negative COVID test within 72 hrs. will be allowed to attend the appointment in-person

How visitation levels are determined

Changes to the visitation policy are based on county transmission levels, social distancing, and space limitations. Leadership will move to less restrictive visitation levels when it is safe to do so with adherence to county guidelines.

Exceptions for inpatient, Emergency Department, labor and delivery/maternity, surgery, and ambulatory visiting (necessary visitation)

  • Visits to patients who are at the end of life (are on comfort care or are being discharged to hospice as their next level of care).
  • Unique situations in which the visiting needs should be discussed with the on-site leadership. 

Additional exception: (labor and delivery/maternity)

  • Doulas will be allowed in addition to one caregiver/partner for all labor and delivery patients while they are in labor (subject to change based on COVID-19 surge status). The doula must present their certification or contract for services in order to be permitted entry into the facility. An email with the certification or contract must be added to our list for entry into the facility.