> Skip repeated content

Visitor Policy and Information

The health and safety of our patients, visitors and employees remains our top priority. HSS is taking precautions to ensure everyone's safety. These measures include visitor limitations and social distance guidelines, which are explained below. All visitor policies apply regardless of vaccination status. We ask that you please follow these guidelines to keep everyone safe.

For Patients and Visitors

  • Visitors must be 18 years old or above to be able to visit.
  • Vaccination - Visitors for patients must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test obtained within 5 days of the visit. 
    • Full vaccination means you received your final dose of the Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Covaxin, Novanax, Sinopharm, or Sinovac vaccine at least 2 weeks prior to your visit. Boosters are not required at this time. Vaccinated visitors must show official proof of vaccination which includes:
      • Physical copy or image of vaccination card or certificate
      • NY Excelsior Pass (if fully vaccinated in the State of New York)
      • Health Pass by CLEAR: upload vaccine information and complete screening prior to your appointment. Learn more
    • Proof of a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test. The test must be either a PCR, Rapid PCR, NAAT, or NAA test (not a rapid antigen or home antigen test). See nearby COVID testing sites.
  • Visitor exceptions - If you believe a visitor exception should be made because the patient requires mobility, cognitive or mental health support, please contact your doctor's office or 212.774.7547 to request an exception. All pre-approved visitors will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test result within 5 days before their visit.
  • Masks - All patients and visitors to HSS are required to wear masks in our locations and undergo a temperature check and screening before each visit. We encourage all visitors to complete their required health screening using Health Pass by CLEAR in order to expedite entry. Learn how to download Health Pass by CLEAR.
  • Social distancing - HSS promotes social distancing wherever possible (keeping at least six feet of space between yourself and others), and has taken the following steps:
    • Removing or moving seats in waiting rooms and patient rooms to allow for social distancing wherever possible
    • Adding plastic screens at check-in desks as a barrier between patients/visitors and HSS staff
    • Requiring face masks for patients, visitors and staff at all times, even when more than six feet from others
    • Inpatient rooms have also been set up to allow social distancing between patients, and between visitors and patients.

Inpatient Locations

  • Adult patients - Adult patients may identify up to two (2) designated visitors per day, with one (1) visitor permitted at a time. Designated visitors can change day to day, with a maximum of two (2) per day. A visitor may accompany the patient from arrival through intake process and then may rejoin the patient during visitation hours of 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm.
  • Pediatric patients - Two (2) caregivers may accompany pediatric patients (21 years and younger) throughout their hospital stay, with exceptions below: 
    • One (1) caregiver may join the pediatric patient in the PACU.
    • If required to stay overnight with the pediatric patient, one (1) caregiver is permitted and must provide proof of full COVID vaccination and 1 of the following: 1) lab proof of COVID-19 in the last 10 - 90 days, or 2) a PCR(-) result in the last 5 days. If proof is not available, we will offer PCR testing onsite. Only one caregiver is permitted to stay overnight and must remain the sole overnight caregiver throughout the patient’s stay.
  • Visitation may be limited at times in order to maintain adequate physical distancing and other appropriate infection control precautions.

Ambulatory Procedure or Ambulatory Surgery

  • Adult patients - One (1) visitor is permitted for adult patients, starting at patient arrival through the intake process until the patient is ready to go to the procedure space, and then the visitor may rejoin the patient in the ambulatory recovery area as directed by the local department leaders and if physical distancing and space permits.
  • Pediatric patients - Two (2) caregivers may accompany pediatric patients (21 years and younger) throughout their hospital stay, with exception below: 
    • One (1) caregiver may join the pediatric patient in the PACU.

Other Outpatient Locations and Physician Practices

  • Adult patients - One (1) visitor (18 years of age or older) may accompany adult patients to an outpatient appointment or physician office visit, but we continue to encourage companions join virtually for the safety of our staff, patients and visitors. Our staff can support patients in setting up this virtual connection (via FaceTime or Zoom) when needed.
  • Pediatric patients - Two (2) caregivers (18 years of age or older) may accompany pediatric patients (21 years and younger) to their appointment.

Questions about your visit?

If you have nonmedical questions related to visiting HSS, communication with family and friends on the day of surgery or afterwards, please call our patient and family resource line at 212.774.7547.

Hospital rules and guidelines

The rules shown below apply in every patient room and recovery area. Please be mindful of other patients while visiting and always observe the rules listed in each area.

Image: Graphical icon indicating limiting cell phone use
Please silence your phone and refrain from making calls.
Image: Graphical icon indicating no sleeping permitted.
Please no photos, videos or video calls to respect privacy.
Image: Graphical icon indicating no sleeping permitted.
Do not visit if you have been sick or unwell for the past 48 hours.
Image: Graphical icon showing medical staff
Do not assist patients out of bed. Contact a staff member for help.
Icon of person having cheerful, quiet conversation
Carry on cheerful conversations in quiet tones with all patients.


Contact Us

General Help Numbers:

  • Main Operator: 877.659.4525
  • 24-hour Patient Information: 212.606.1377
  • Family Resource Line: 212.774.7547
Patient & Family Atrium Phone Numbers:
  • 1st Floor: 646.797.8301
  • 4th Floor: 212.774.2201
  • 9th Floor: 212.774.2179
  • SPU (429 E 75th Street): 646.714.6768

Neighborhood Guide

Please note that some information may have changed due to COVID.


Please view frequently asked questions about what to expect during your visit.

Below are common questions we receive from visitors on a daily basis. Our highly experienced staff is available to answer any questions or give further explanation of our services in person as well.

Is there a parking garage?
Yes. The HSS Belaire Building Garage is located at 525 East 71st Street, New York, NY 10021. Please refer to our neighborhood directory for the additional information on parking garages in the area.

Do you validate parking?
Even though we do not validate parking, the rate that is offered to our visitors and patient has been already discounted. Please refer to our neighborhood directory for the additional information on parking garages in the area.

Do you have a gift shop?
There is no gift shop at HSS. Pyramid Cafés (located in the 1st and 4th floors of the main building) offer newspapers, magazines, earphones, gum, snacks and refreshments for purchase.

Please refer to our neighborhood directory for pharmacies, convenience stores and flower shops in the area.

HSS branded clothing and accessories can be purchased online.

Can I take pictures of the hospital?
You can take pictures of the hospital as long as the picture does not include any people, names, numbers or any other kind of information that could be related to our patients, visitors and staff.

Is there coffee shop or cafeteria?
Yes. We have a few options for you:

  • Belaire Cafeteria is located in the Belaire Building at 525 E 71st Street. The cafeteria serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hours of operation: Mon-Fri 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Pyramid Cafés. Located in the Main Building at 535 E 70th Street. Cafes offer some snacks, sandwiches and refreshments for purchase.
  • 1st Floor. Main Hospital Lobby: Mon-Fri 6:00 am - 8:00 pm; Sat 7:00 am - 5:00 pm; Sun 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • 4th Floor. Family Atrium: Mon-Fri 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Does Hospital for Special Surgery have an emergency room?
HSS does not have an emergency room, but we do offer same-day and next-day appointments for patients with sprains, strains and possible fractures. Learn more.

Due to the safety of staff and recovering patients, no visitors are allowed in the PACU recovery areas.


Return to Patients and Visitors page