Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Is it safe to come to Mount Sinai?
The visitor policy for the Mount Sinai Health System is as follows:
Visitor Policy – Effective May 25, 2021
Mount Sinai welcomes visitors to the hospitals, including Emergency Rooms, as long as visitors adhere to the policy below. For visitors to our ambulatory locations, please see the ambulatory visitor policy.
General Visitor Information:
- Visitors must be 18 years of age or older.
- All visitors must comply with NYS domestic and international travel rules and restrictions.
- Visitors will be screened for symptoms, have a temperature check and be asked for contact information prior to entry.
- Anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the previous 10 days or has been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 will not be allowed into the hospital.
- Visitors must wear a surgical mask during their visit – one will be provided if needed. Additionally, visitors will be given personal protective equipment (PPE) and shown the proper way to wear it if needed.
- Visitors must wash their hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer, before entering and exiting their loved one’s room.
- Visitors must keep their mask on and stay in the patient’s room throughout their visit unless asked to step out by hospital staff. Visitors may not be present during procedures, aerosol-generating treatments and in the recovery room.
- NOTE: The visitor policy may be adjusted to ensure the safety of patients, staff, and visitors. In these circumstances, staff may allow only one visitor at a time or temporarily prohibit visitors entirely.
Locations and Hours:
- Inpatient visitation hours for adult patients are from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm daily. During this timeframe, two adult visitors are permitted each day for a maximum stay of four hours per day.
- One healthy support person is allowed to be with obstetric patients on the Labor & Delivery. In addition, a doula may be present. Visitation on post-partum units is from 10:00am to 6:00pm daily. Visitation is limited to four hours per day for up to two visitors at a time, unless otherwise approved by the clinical team.
- Two adult guardians/caregivers/visitors per pediatric patient are allowed at the bedside at a time between hospital visiting hours, including the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit NICU. One adult guardian/caregiver/visitor may be at bedside 24 hours a day in all pediatric units. In pediatric units, one adult guardian, caregiver, visitor may sleep overnight at bedside, except in the NICU. Two guardians/caregivers/visitors can accompany a child to a procedure. One guardian/caregiver/visitor at a time may be in the recovery room with a pediatric patient.
- One visitor is permitted for Emergency Room (ER) patients for a maximum of two hours of visitation per day. ERs may limit visitors to ensure staff and patient safety.
- Exceptions to visitation hours and limits may be granted for imminent (within 24 hours) end of life and/or patients with cognitive or developmental impairments or at the discretion of hospital leadership.
Visitors who do not comply with all of the above requirements will be asked to leave.
UPDATED VISITOR POLICY – 05/25/2021
Is it safe to come to Mount Sinai Ambulatory Locations?
Mount Sinai welcomes visitors to our outpatient practices. Our visitor policy will be limited to ensure proper social distancing within the practices based on current government recommendations.
- Patients are allowed only one visitor at a time, with some exceptions. For additional information and select locations, click here
- Visitors must be 18 years of age or older
- Anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the previous 10 days will not be allowed into an outpatient practice
- Anyone who has been a household contact or in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 over the past 10 days will not be allowed into an outpatient practice
- Visitors must comply with NYS domestic and international travel rules and restrictions
- During a visit, visitors:
- Must wear a surgical mask during their visit. Masks with valves are not permitted. A mask will be provided if needed.
- Will be screened for symptoms, have a temperature check and be asked for contact information prior to entry. If needed, visitors will be given personal protective equipment (PPE) and shown the proper way to wear it.
- Visitors will be asked to perform hand hygiene upon entry to the facility.
- Social distancing rules will be applied and visitors may be asked to wait outside
- For surgical patients, visitors may be asked to leave after check-in process and return when patient is ready for pick up
Please note, the ambulatory guide may be adjusted to ensure the safety of staff, patients and visitors.
What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory (breathing) illness caused by a coronavirus that was first identified during an outbreak in China.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of COVID-19 may include (Updated by the CDC May 13, 2020):
- Fever (temperature greater than 100° Fahrenheit)
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- New onset persistent cough
- Nasal congestion & runny nose not associated with allergies
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue (new or not explained by a pre-existing condition)
- Headaches (new or not explained by a pre-existing condition)
- Generalized muscle and body aches (new or not explained by a pre-existing condition)
I have symptoms, should I go to the doctor?
New York State has aggressively expanded COVID-19 diagnostic testing capacity. As of July 1, testing is available to all New Yorkers statewide.
Testing will not change how we treat your illness.
Whether you have COVID-19 or another seasonal illness like the flu, we advise the following:
- Stay home and only leave if you need medical attention
- Isolate yourself from others in your household by staying in a separate bedroom
- Use a separate bathroom if available; otherwise, disinfect the bathroom after using
- Everyone should wash their hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Dispose of used tissue properly in lined trash cans
If you wish to consult a doctor about your symptoms, please use our virtual service, Mount Sinai NOW as a first step. You can chat with a doctor on your smartphone or personal computer, using a video call, online visit, or Text-to-Chat. It will help us make sure you receive the appropriate care. According to a directive from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Mount Sinai Health System is not permitted to test patients for COVID-19 who have no or mild symptoms.
If you or a loved one has questions about COVID-19 symptoms, testing or treatment, you can text 4-SINAI (474624) from any mobile device to receive answers.
For any questions after receiving negative COVID-19 test results, you can call 646-605-5959 to receive further guidance.
How do I get tested?
If you have questions about COVID-19 testing – including when and if you should get tested – visit us online for Mount Sinai Now Virtual Care. A clinician will address all of your questions and provide testing guidance.
Should I wear a mask to protect myself?
Because some people infected with COVID-19 may not have any symptoms, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that you wear a face covering (such as a homemade face mask) when in public. Masks with valves are not recommended. Higher grade medical masks and respirators should be reserved for health care workers.
How can I protect myself?
- Perform hand hygiene either with alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60 percent alcohol) or soap and water.
- Practice respiratory hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surface.
- Stay home when you are sick.
Are elective surgeries being scheduled at Mount Sinai hospitals?
The state of New York is now allowing elective surgeries which were halted due to the COVID-19 crisis. Elective surgeries can now take place at all Mount Sinai Health System hospitals, doctor’s offices, and ambulatory surgery centers. Teams from across the Health System are working to ensure a safe environment, so that patients can be confident in coming in to get the care they need.
I want to know more; what are good sources of information?
The best resource for information on the virus is on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov. The CDC provides useful information including frequently asked questions and travel guidance. More information is also available at mountsinai.org/covid19.