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General information

Visitor Information
(updated March 2021)

Our team is taking special precautions to keep our community of staff, patients, and families safe while at San Mateo Medical Center. We have put restrictions in place for visitors—these may change as the status of COVID-19 changes within San Mateo County.

Visitors are asked to follow all safety requirements. Our lobbies/waiting areas have been blocked off or closed off to enable physical distancing. You will be redirected to an approved seating or standing area for you and/or your group. The care team will help and answer any questions you have.



Visitors are not permitted to accompany adult patients unless they require special assistance due to a disability or impaired understanding, or unless they are the patient’s primary caregiver.


Visitors are not permitted for hospitalized patients, including psychiatric patients. Exceptions will be made only for limited and approved circumstances (listed below)*. For all others, we will help patients and loved ones stay connected using technology.

Visiting Hours (for approved visitors only):
Monday – Friday 12 PM to 8 PM, Saturday – Sunday 8 AM – 4:30 PM


Visitors are not permitted in the Emergency Department patient areas (including Registration and Waiting Room). Exceptions are made and listed below*.


Appointments for visits are required and must be scheduled 24 hours in advance. Visitors must complete a pre-screening with the care team before the visit date and time are confirmed. All visits will be supervised and limited to 20 minutes. Patients and loved ones can also stay connected using technology. No children under 18 allowed at this time.

More information can be found HERE.

*EXCEPTIONS (applies to all patients)
  • Children (12 & under): Children under 12 are not allowed at this time.
  • End of life: At the discretion of Infection Control, Nursing manager, and the care team.
  • Mobility support: Outpatient only–One (1) visitor to accompany patient to their appointment.
  • Dependent patient support: One (1) in-person support to accompany patients with psychosocial, intellectual, developmental or cognitive disabilities who rely on in-person support at home for medically necessary care to their appointment.
  • Surgery: One (1) in-person support is allowed during screening and registration. When it is time for patient to be brought to the Peri-Operative Unit, support individual will be asked to leave the facility. A support individual can provide contact information to team for updates regarding status and pick-up time.
  • Communication and cognitive assistance: One (1) support person is allowed access into the ED with patient to facilitate communication and/or provide additional information regarding the patient’s condition an/or history at the discretion of the Charge Nurse/Manager. The presence of this support person does not replace a qualified interpreter, rather prevents gaps in understanding when there is an emergency involving a health need.



We understand the importance of staying connected and how that contributes to our loved one’s healing. To stay connected with your loved one while they are with us at San Mateo Medical Center, we have support on-site for you and your family.

For questions, call the Patient Experience Team at 650-573-3731.

Video Visits
We encourage you to use FaceTime, Skype, or other video platforms to stay connected with your loved one. If the patient does not have a device—smart phones and tablets are available on the units. Just ask the Nursing Staff for support with this.

Spiritual Care
We are here for you and your loved one in these times of emotional stress. Upon arrival, our Spiritual Care Team calls within 24-72 hours of admission to Welcome the Patient and explain the role of the Spiritual Care Department and our Chaplain. Please let a member of the healthcare team know if you and/or the patient would like to schedule an appointment with the Chaplain.

Healing and Encouragement Notes for Patient
If you wish to send your loved one a note or a photo that can be posted in their room, we will make sure it gets to them. Please send the photo or note as an email to with your contact information along with the patient’s name.

Item Drop-Off
Monday – Friday: 6 AM – 8:30 PM, Saturday – Sunday: 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM 

Personal items and food drop-offs are welcome. The Patient Experience Team are present at the Main and West Entrances and can receive any items you drop off. To ensure we get the item to your loved one, you will need to complete a drop off item ticket with our staff who receives the item. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Special instructions for 1A Patients and Families only: 1A staff are able to pick up items dropped off by friends and family at the entrances at 11:45AM and 4:30PM every day. Please be mindful of this time-frame
when dropping off items.

Please note: 

  • Unfortunately, we cannot allow flowers in any patient rooms.
  • Items may not be dropped off at our Emergency Entrance.


A team of doctors and nurses are focused on the health of your loved one. We are doing all we can to keep them comfortable and help them heal. If you are concerned about the status of their health, talk to their nurse about the best way to get updates. Call 650-573-2222 and asked to be transferred to the nursing unit. We follow all privacy laws to protect our patients so what they can share may vary.