Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Response to COVID-19


Protecting Patients. Advancing Ability.

Posted By Megan Washburn


At Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, the safety of our community is our first priority. The following protocols have been enacted to protect the health and wellness of our patients, visitors and staff.

Outpatient, Physician Clinic and DayRehab Appointments


What we are doing to ensure your safety:

  • Everyone entering the clinic, including staff, is asked health-related screening questions (per CDC guidelines) and receives a temperature check. Anyone who answers yes to any of the screening questions, or whose temperature is greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, will be asked to return home.
  • All equipment is cleaned before and after use, as are high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, chair arms, countertops, etc.
  • Treatment and waiting areas are organized to facilitate social distancing between patients.

What we request:

  • If you (or anyone in your household) have a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, new loss of taste or smell, and/or temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, please alert our clinic and your primary care provider prior to your appointment.
  • If you, a member of your household or another close contact has recently been diagnosed with COVID-19, please alert our clinic and your primary care provider prior to your appointment.
  • If you have traveled to a state classified as orange or red by Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order (which is updated every two weeks), you will need to quarantine at home for 14 days following your return — no visits to Shirley Ryan AbilityLab will be allowed, even with a negative COVID test. Note that patients who live in neighboring states are exempted from this requirement and may keep their appointments.
  • Please do not bring anyone with you to your visit. All visitors will be asked to wait outside of the clinic during treatment sessions. Exceptions will be made for one parent or caregiver for patients who need physical assistance.
  • Use the available hand sanitizer stations prior to entry into the waiting room and treatment areas.
  • Wear a mask at all times when you are in our facility unless a clinician asks you to remove it.  
  • Abstain from wearing gloves, as they collect and transfer germs.
  • As much as possible, avoid touching surfaces while in the waiting area and clinic.

To continue meeting patients’ needs during this time, we will continue to provide TeleHealth services for Outpatient, DayRehab and physician appointments. Please call 844-355-ABLE to learn more or to schedule an appointment.

Inpatient Visitors


  • Inpatients are allowed to have one pre-designated visitor (18+ years old). However, if a visit is not essential, to protect the health of your loved one, we strongly encourage you to connect virtually or via phone instead of in-person. Our staff is prepared to assist patients in setting up video chats and phone calls.
    • In certain situations, and based on health and safety considerations, all visitation may be restricted for some patients.
    • Exceptions to the one-visitor policy may be made when family members are directed by Shirley Ryan AbilityLab staff to come in for discharge planning and family teaching.
    • Visitors must check in on the 10th Floor Sky Lobby upon arrival, and undergo a health screening.
    • Visitors must wear a mask at all times (even when in patient rooms). Those who do not have a mask will be issued one by Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. 
    • Gloves are not allowed to be worn by visitors, as they collect and transfer germs.
    • Visitors must stay in patients’ rooms, and avoid public spaces in the units (e.g., Innovation Center Hubs, laundry rooms, etc.) and throughout the building (with the exception of quick trips to the café, which is offering carryout).
    • Visitors who travel from states classified as orange or red by Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order (which is updated every two weeks) may come to the hospital after a 14-day quarantine period in Illinois. Please note that a negative COVID test will not change the 14-day quarantine requirement.


VISITORS: Please Read Before Entering Shirley Ryan AbilityLab


Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have common symptoms of COVID-19: cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, new loss of taste or smell, and/or temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit?
  • Have I taken any fever-reducing medication within the past 24 hours to reduce my fever?
  • Since I was last in the building, has someone in my household been diagnosed with COVID-19?

If you say yes to any of these questions, please DO NOT enter the hospital. Contact your physician or local COVID-19 Hotline.

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