Visiting Policy

We ask for your help to stop the spread of COVID-19 and thank you for your patience and understanding. To keep our patients, employees and community safe, we currently have a LIMITED Visitor Policy.

Cheshire Medical Center’s visitor policy aligns with the policy for all Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH) facilities. It is intended to assure the safety of our patients and the health care workers caring for them.

Our policy will evolve to become more or less restrictive based on the most up-to-date information. Updates will be made with an eye toward limiting the spread of COVID-19, flattening the curve, and assuring a healthy workforce who can care for current and future patients.

Entrances

Please plan to enter through our main entrance at Cheshire Medical Center unless you are receiving care at Norris Cotton Cancer Center or our Emergency Department.

  • Main Entrance access:
    • Monday through Friday: 6:00 am to 7:00 pm
    • Saturday and Sunday: 5:30 am to 7:30 pm
  • Emergency Department entrance is open 24/7
  • Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC) may enter through the NCCC Kingsbury Pavilion entrance between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday
  • Closed: West Entrance and Employee/Cafeteria Entrance
  • Satellite locations: Please follow instructions on the signage at satellite locations before entering the building. We may ask you to call our dedicated line for a phone screening before entering these locations.

Screening, masks, and distancing for all

Everyone entering Cheshire Medical Center and all D-HH patient care facilities is screened at entry and will be required to wear a mask at ALL times within the building.

  • If you do not have a cloth mask of your own, you will be provided one when you enter our facility.
  • Any patients exhibiting symptoms who are seeking care will be provided a medical face mask for their clinical visit, and may be escorted to a different entrance for isolated care.
  • If you refuse to wear a mask, you will be asked to leave our facility.
  • Please do your best to maintain a 6-foot distance between yourself and other people. This remains a critical factor in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Find out about other enhanced safety measures and service updates.

One necessary caregiver may accompany a patient

Necessary caregivers: A family member, friend or other support person whose presence is required for physical or cognitive support associated with the patient's health care. Caregivers are most often necessary to accompany a patient with disabilities or a child. A caregiver will be permitted to accompany a patient if necessary, and limited to 1 (one) designated support person, unless otherwise authorized. Find more detailed information on the D-HH Visitors page.

Limited visitor policy 

"Inpatient Visitors" refer to those who wish to access Cheshire Medical Center, but are not directly involved in the care of a patient as outlined above and may wish to socialize with an inpatient. Inpatients, emergency department patients, and outpatient surgical procedure patients may now have one (1) inpatient visitor per day.

Only permitted visitors will be allowed to enter the Medical Center.

  • Visitor arrival hours are 6:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • All permitted visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the building. Those exhibiting symptoms will not be authorized to enter. 
  • Based on staff discretion, a patient may not be eligible for visitors. If visitors are not allowed, please call 603-354-5400 to speak to the patient’s unit for further guidance.
  • COVID-19-positive patients and patients under investigation for COVID-19 have more restrictive visitor policy and are not allowed to have visitors. 
  • Individuals under age 14 are not allowed to visit at this time. 

Exceptions to limited visitor policy

Childbirth: One caregiver or partner may be present through labor, delivery and postpartum care. Our staff are happy to assist with Virtual Visits and highly encourage them as a way to involve other family members and friends.

Pediatric inpatients: Parents and guardians only may be present (two people max). Visitors who are not parents or guardians may have video or phone visits only.

End-of-life care: Assuming the patient is not COVID-19 positive or under investigation for COVID-19, two family members/friends may visit at a time. For a patient who is to be discharged home with hospice care, visits should be postponed or planned to the home setting whenever possible.

Check-in process for inpatient, emergency department patient, and outpatient surgical procedure visitors

Please follow these important steps to keep everyone safe:

Step 1: Visitor screening

  • You will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the building.
  • Those exhibiting symptoms will not be authorized to enter.

Step 2: Masks and hand sanitizer

  • Please use the sanitizer upon entering and exiting all areas.
  • You must wear a mask at all times, including while you are in the room with a patient.

Step 3: Visitor check-in: red arrow at Registration

  • Upon arrival each day, you must check-in at Registration (6:00 am to 6:00 pm).
  • You will receive a new visitor ID badge each day. You will not be allowed in patient care areas without a visitor ID badge. 
  • Staff will confirm whether or not your loved one can have visitors. If visitors are not allowed, please call 603-354-5400 to speak with the patient’s unit for further guidance. If allowed, you will be directed to the inpatient’s unit. Thank you for your patience while we take precautions to keep our staff, patients, and you safe.

Step 4: Visiting with a patient

  • Please go directly to the patient’s room.
  • Please remain at the bedside with the patient wearing your mask at all times.
  • If you need to visit the restroom, cafeteria, etc., please return to the patient’s room right away.
  • Meals: Please bring your food back to the patient’s room to eat. You may remove your mask while you eat unless a staff member is in the room.
  • Procedures: If the patient is having a procedure, staff will let you know if you need to leave the patient’s room. You may be asked to exit the hospital during the procedure.

Virtual Visits for hospitalized patients

We encourage all other family members and friends to use their telephone or video calls to stay in touch. Please reference our Virtual Visits with Friends and Family in the Hospital (PDF) to connect with loved ones using a personal device. For patients who may not have a device or need help connecting, our inpatient staff can facilitate secure Virtual Visits via WebEx.

For more information and in-depth explanations of our visitor policies, please see the D-HH Visitors page page.

How can you connect with patients?

  • Call or video chat on their personal phone
  • Call 603-354-5400 for the patient's room and phone number
  • Make a staff-assisted Virtual Visit. Contact the patient's health care team to arrange a Virtual Visit.
  • Send mail to this address:

    Patient's Full Name
    Cheshire Medical Center
    580 Court Street
    Keene, NH 03431