Skip to Content


Find VA policies on privacy and patient rights, family rights, visitation, and more.

Privacy and patient rights

Read VA's national privacy and patient rights policies

Family rights

Read VA's national family rights policy

Visitation policy

Please review these guidelines before you visit a patient at our hospital.

Syracuse VA Medical Center
800 Irving Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13210

Masking Policy (applicable at all Covid-19 status levels):  Per current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for Covid-19, all Federal employees, onsite contractors, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask inside of Federal buildings.  These changes are consistent with Executive Order 13991 on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing, which charged Federal agencies to “require compliance with CDC guidelines with respect to wearing masks” and OMB guidance memoranda M-21-15 (January 24, 2021) and M-21-25 (June 10, 2021).


Covid-19 Visitation: HIGH LEVEL status 

  • Facility Inpatient visitation hours:  12 p.m. to 2 p.m., 4 p.m.  to 6 p.m. daily. Closed 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Screening at entrances and proper masking required.
  • Outpatient/Ambulatory Care Appointment visits:  Visitors/companions are not allowed to the clinic/waiting areas unless they are essential to the care of the Veteran and the patient chart indicates such (e.g. patients with dementia, mental impairments, interpreters).
  • Inpatient visits on non-CLC floors: 1 adult, 18 or older, masked and screened is permitted to visit inpatient Veterans for a period of no longer than 2 hours. Visitors must remain in the Veteran’s room throughout the visit. Visitors may use the designated visitor bathroom on the floor of the unit they are visiting and return directly to the room when finished. Visitors are not permitted to utilize waiting rooms or any other public space on the units.
  • Community Living Center visits:  Visitors to the CLC are by appointment only and can be arranged
    through the Social Workers on the CLC. Call ension 54669 to coordinate visitation.
  • SCI Unit visits:  Are by appointment only and can be arranged through the Nursing staff on the SCI.   Appointments can be made by calling ension 53540, Monday thru Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.   The SCI visitation policy is subject to change based on Covid-19 and infection control conditions.
  • End of Life/ Comfort Care visits: Visitors/companions will continue to be allowed 24/7 visitation privileges, two (2) visitors at a time. Imminent or comfort care status must be confirmed.
  • Surgery Center visits: Visitors/companions are not allowed to clinic/waiting areas unless they are essential to the care of the Veteran and the patient chart indicates such (e.g. patients with dementia, mental impairments, interpreters)
  • Emergency Department visits: Visitors/companions are not allowed unless they are essential to the care of the Veteran and the patient chart indicates such  (e.g. patients with dementia, mental impairments, interpreters).

HIGH LEVEL Visitation Details

  • Visitors/support persons may utilize public sites such as the cafeteria and canteen store when entering or exiting the building.
  • Visitors/support persons must be 18 years of age or older; inpatient visitors must receive a visitor badge at entry, supply their name and the name of the Veteran they are visiting.
  • Visitors/support persons will be screened at all entry points and be provided instructions on wearing a mask and handwashing. Additionally, visitors will be screened for symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath, or fever) or potential exposure to someone with COVID-19 or travel to a high-risk area.
  • Visitors/support persons who fail to wear a face mask and other PPE will be required to leave the facility.
  • General entrances to the medical center are open 24/7.  If the building is locked, please use the outside phone to ask the VA police to let you into the building.



Covid-19 Visitation: MEDIUM LEVEL status: 

  • Facility visitation hours:  12 p.m. to 6 p.m., daily. Screening at entrances and proper masking required.
  • Outpatient: 1 adult, 18 or older, masked and screened are permitted to accompany a Veteran to an outpatient appointment.
  • Inpatient: 2 adults, 18 or older, masked and screened are permitted to visit inpatient Veterans.
  • Community Living Center visits:  Visiting hours are 2:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. You should report to the nurse's station before going to a patient's room.  Those who are not fully vaccinated need to continue to physically distance consistent with CDC guidance.  Call ension 54669 to coordinate visitation.



Covid-19 Visitation: LOW LEVEL status: 

Bringing children to visit
Children of all ages can visit patients at our medical center. Children under age 12 should be supervised by an adult.

Limiting your visit
Our doctors may limit, restrict, or deny visits for the medical well-being of a patient.  We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. 


General Visitation Information

Prohibited items
You cannot bring weapons, alcohol, or illegal drugs into the building.  Because the VA medical center is federal property, all visitors and bags may be searched.  

The VA police patrol the buildings and parking lots every hour of every day. Our police service is located on the first floor of our outpatient building.

Report to the VA police any suspicious or criminal activity and vehicle accidents.


VA general visitation policy

The medical center respects the patient's right to make decisions about his or her care, treatment and services, and to involve the patient's family in care, treatment, and services decisions to the extent permitted by the patient or surrogate decision-maker. 

"Family" is defined as a group of two or more persons united by blood, or adoptive, marital, domestic partnership, or other legal ties. The family may also be a person or persons not legally related to the individual (such as significant other, friend or caregiver) whom the individual considers to be family. A family member may be the surrogate decision-maker, as defined in VHA Handbook 1004.02, if authorized to make care decisions for the individual, should he or she lose decision-making capacity or choose to delegate decision making to another. 

The medical center allows a family member, friend or other individual to be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of their stay. The medical center allows for the presence of a support individual of the patient's choice, unless the individual's presence infringes on others’ rights or safety, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated. The individual may or may not be the patient's surrogate decision-maker or legally authorized representative. 

The hospital prohibits discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.

Advance directives

When faced with difficult decisions about health care, you may struggle with the question of "what should be done?" These resources can help you deal with tough decisions about health care and how to plan for it.

Health Care Ethics Resources for Veterans, Patients, and Families

VA Form 10-0137 - VA Advance Directive: Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Living Will

What You Should Know about Advance Directives

Report patient quality of care concerns

Visit the Joint Commission page to report concerns you have about the quality of patient care.