Information for Visitors

Directions, Parking & Lodging While You are Here Caregiver Support

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center recognizes the importance of visitors for our patients. The following guidelines ensure patients and their visitors get maximum benefits from the experience without compromising patient care, confidentiality and security.

Visitors are allowed with the patient’s permission. Visitors can obtain the patient’s room number at the information desk in the hospital’s ground-floor lobby. Patients may request that their care team members limit or restrict visitors at any time.

Patients on 5E, 5W, 5N, the Pediatric Unit (6N) and the Intensive Care Unit have additional criteria for visitors. Please check with staff on the units for more information. Please note: Flowers and plants are not permitted on these units. Consult with unit staff members and the Roswell Park Gift Shop personnel for alternatives.  

Influenza Season 

Your loved ones depend on us to give them the best possible care. We need you to do your part and put our patients first. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or suffering from a head cold, please reconsider your visit. If you need to visit, we ask you to wear a surgical mask while on the patient care unit. You can find these masks at all nursing stations. 

  • Anyone with communicable infectious diseases should refrain from visiting patients. Please share this policy with friends and family members who plan to visit or accompany patients during clinic visits.  
  • We ask that visitors do not come to Roswell Park if they have had an influenza-like illness — a fever of 100°F (37.8°C) or higher, cough and/or a sore throat — in the last seven days.

Patient Status 

During normal business hours, family and friends can get updates on your status by calling your room or the nurses’ station on your floor. They also can call the Information Desk at 716-845-1523 and ask to be transferred to your room or nurses’ station. After business hours, your family may call your nurses’ station or Central Access at 716-845-2300.

Visitor Policies 

We have an open visitor policy and family members and friends are welcome to visit anytime.

  • We ask that patients have no more than two visitors at a time. Exceptions to this rule may be approved by the nurse manager.
  • One family member may stay overnight in your room. Overnight stays in semi-private patient rooms are at the discretion of the nurse manager.
  • On the pediatric unit, a parent or designated guardian may stay with the patient at all times.
  • The units on the fifth floor, the Pediatric Unit (6N), the Intermediate Care Unit and the Intensive Care Unit may have additional criteria for visitors. Please check with your nurse for more information.

Visitor Courtesy 

For the benefit of our patients, Roswell Park asks visitors to maintain these courtesies:

  • Please do not visit if you are sick or recently have been sick with a cold or flu.
  • Please wash or use hand sanitizer before and after entering a patient’s room.
  • Make your visits brief. Patients need rest to recover.
  • Remember, the patient may be in pain. Don’t sit on the patient’s bed.
  • You may be asked to leave the room during patient examinations.
  • If the patient’s door is closed, or if a sign is posted, please check at the nurses’ station before entering.

Visitor Services 

While waiting for a patient in surgery or during visiting hours, visitors may take advantage of these services available within Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center:

  • Family lounges are available on each floor of the hospital.
  • Free wireless internet is available throughout the hospital.
  • The Resource Center for Patients and Families offers cancer information and support; a complimentary wig program for cancer patients; a lending library of laptops, DVDs, and CDs; and printers. The staff will deliver any of items directly to inpatients by request.
  • A Spiritual Care Office and Meditation and Prayer Room are on the hospital’s first floor (on the bridge to the Carlton Building).
  • Hospitality and food
  • Gift Shop
  • Lodging

Infection Prevention 

  • We want to protect our patients from infectious diseases (such as viral infections) that are easily transmitted from person to person.
  • It is important to wash or sanitize your hands before and after entering a patient’s room.
  • Anyone with communicable infectious diseases should refrain from visiting patients. Please share this policy with friends and family members who plan to visit or accompany patients during clinic visits.
  • We ask that visitors do not come to Roswell Park if they have had an influenza-like illness—a fever of 100°F (37.8°C) or higher with cough and/or sore throat—in the last seven days.

The Ebola Virus 

Inform your Roswell Park physician if you

  • traveled within the past three weeks to an Ebola-affected region.*
  • had close contact with someone who has traveled to an Ebola-affected region* within the past six weeks or who has had fever or other flu-like symptoms.
  • develop fever or other flu-like symptoms after being in an Ebola-affected region or in contact with someone who has. It is very important that you inform your Roswell Park physician before coming to the hospital.

If you experience symptoms after recent travel or after being in contact with a person who has traveled to an Ebola-affected region*, you should inform your Roswell Park physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. If these providers are not available, ask to speak to the on-call physician. Your Roswell Park physician or another member of our staff will provide you with specific instructions. If urgent care is needed, call 911 and inform them about your symptoms and possible Ebola exposure.

Ebola Symptoms 

  • Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)**
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)

Symptoms may appear from two to 21 days after Ebola exposure, but the average is eight to 10 days.

Facts about Ebola Transmission

  • You can’t get Ebola through air, water or food.
  • You can only get Ebola from
    • Touching the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or who has died from Ebola. Individuals who are not symptomatic are not contagious.
    • Touching contaminated objects such as needles.


Download the official notice from the New York State Department of Health, available in eight different languages.

* Ebola-affected areas as of December 2014 include Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Mali.

**Not all fevers are Ebola-related; however, it is important to notify your Roswell Park physician as it pertains to your cancer case.

Looking for something to pass the time?

View our list of amenities and things to do while you wait for an appointment or for a loved one.