DSH - Atascadero: Visitor Information

Due to security and operational requirements, and periodic quarantines, visiting regulations are subject to change without prior notice. To ensure visitors are aware of current regulations, it is advisable to contact Telecommunications at (805) 468-2000 prior to visitation. Visitors may also contact the Public Information Officer at (805) 468-2008 to request a copy of the hospital's visiting regulations.

Visiting hours are 8:15 AM until 1:45 PM daily (Please allow approximately one-half hour to be processed into the Visiting Room.)

We encourage you to visit on weekends and holidays so as not to interfere with the patient's treatment schedule. If you wish to talk with staff, however, it is best to visit on a weekday.

Please do not visit if you have a fever of 100 degrees F or greater, active cough, shaking chills, sore throat with or without swollen glands in your neck, unusual or severe headache or neck pain, diarrhea (loose stools) or vomiting within the last 48 hours, if you have been treated within the last 2 weeks for any infectious condition (scabies, lice, etc.), and if in the last month you have been around a person who has had pertussis, measles, mumps, chickenpox, or shingles and you have never had them nor been vaccinated against them.


General Regulations:

Department of State Hospitals – Statewide Contraband List

In accordance with Welfare & Institutions Code Section 7295, to ensure its safety and security, the Department of State Hospitals has developed a list of items deemed contraband at every state hospital.

A. "Contraband" means materials, articles, or goods that patients are prohibited from having in their possession because such materials, articles or goods present a risk to safety and security in the facility.

B. Items restricted to use only under supervision or control may be considered contraband for the purposes of this list, as they should not be in patient's possession without supervision. All items that are illegal to possess are by default considered to be contraband, whether specifically contained in this list or not. This includes any items prohibited as a condition of parole as it applies to any patient on active parole while housed in a DSH facility.

Statewide Contraband List


All visitors are required to register at the Visitor Registration Desk in the main lobby, and present a valid photo identification issued by a state or federal agency. Providing false or incomplete information to the registration officer may result in the denial of visiting privileges.

Required Visitor Health Questionnaire:

All visitors are required to complete the Hospital Visitor Health Questionnaire. Please select from the language choices below:

The completed form will be evaluated. Visitation will be denied if the visitor is actively ill or determined to be ill by designated nursing staff.

Property and Metal Detector Screening:

All visitors are processed through the metal detector, and all property is searched by Police Services.

Access for Children:

Children (under the age of 18) may be allowed access to the visiting area with prior approval from the Clinical Administrator or designee or the Executive Officer of the Day (EOD) after-hours. It is advisable to obtain this approval well in advance of the planned visit.

Number of Visitors Allowed:

No more than six (6) visitors per patient are allowed at one time.

Visitor Dress Code:

Visitor clothing shall be conservative. Khaki-colored clothing (beige, tan, etc.) is prohibited.

The following clothing is restricted or prohibited:

  • shorts
  • strapless or transparent garments
  • halter/midriff tops
  • tank tops
  • any wrap-around clothing
  • under-wire garments
  • skirts or dresses shall fall below the knee
  • capri pants
  • clothing slits in excess of 4 inches
  • leg-warmers
  • lycra or spandex clothing
  • camouflage/fatigue designs
  • wigs (exception: for medical reasons with prior approval)
  • clothing with hoods
  • scarves
  • ties and necklaces
  • gloves or hats
  • open-toed shoes
  • smart watches


Food and Refreshments While Visiting:

Visitors may not bring food into the visiting room. There are vending machines in the visiting room for beverages or snacks. Vending machines require silver coins, and a one-dollar change machine is also available. No more than $15 in one dollar bills or coins per visitor.

No more than $15 in one dollar bills and/or coins for the individual visited (i.e., three visitors would be allowed a combined total of $60 ($15 for each visitor and $15 for the person they are visiting.)).