On Wednesday, New York hospitals are making masks for patients, visitors, and staff optional under certain circumstances, according to the Alice Hyde Medical Center and Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital.

Masks will be optional for staff in public areas and optional for asymptomatic patients and visitors in the entire hospital.

Masks are mandatory for individuals exhibiting symptoms resembling COVID-19 such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, loss of taste or smell, or diarrhea. Employees are obligated to wear masks during patient care, examination, and in patient rooms.

“We strongly encourage immunocompromised individuals to continue wearing masks
while they are with us. And we respect that patients may have safety concerns, so our
staff will wear a mask in public areas when asked by a patient,” said Chief Quality and Safety
Officer, Brenda Murphy.

AHMC and CVPH will also waive the COVID-19 testing requirement for asymptomatic patients scheduled for a procedure or admission, but they encourage those who exhibit symptoms of the virus shortly before their scheduled procedure to inform their healthcare provider.