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Triad hospital systems make masks optional

Cone Health, Novant Health, and Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist are making masks optional again for most patients, visitors, and staff.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Three major Triad hospital systems are lifting their mask requirements for most patients, visitors, and employees. 

Cone Health, Novant Health, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist all announced Monday that masking would become optional beginning Tuesday, March 28. The decision comes based on the latest Centers For Disease Control and Prevention guidance. 

The health care systems said patients may still ask for their providers to wear masks. 

All hospitals said masking may still be required in certain situations. Here are those exceptions: 

Cone Health: 

Masking may still be required in certain areas where higher levels of infection prevention are needed. These may include units where cancer patients and others with low immunity are being treated. It may also include rooms where highly infected patients, such as those with tuberculosis, are being cared for. 

Anyone coming into a doctor’s office, urgent care, or emergency department coughing or sneezing will be asked to wear a mask to protect visitors and staff. 

Novant Health:

While universal masking will no longer be required, certain exceptions apply, including wearing masks when respiratory virus symptoms are present and in treatment areas for high-risk patients, including those in isolation.

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist: 

Masks will still be required in certain situations and clinical areas, such as emergency department waiting rooms and triage areas, and all cancer locations, to help protect those who are immunocompromised and vulnerable to respiratory viruses.

In addition, patients who have been exposed to a respiratory illness such as flu, RSV, or COVID-19, or who are experiencing symptoms, should wear a well-fitting mask that covers their nose and mouth. As always, anyone planning to visit patients at any hospital should be healthy and should not have fever, cough, cold, or stomach virus symptoms.

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