Change in Mask Mandates

Hospitals and healthcare centers are finally beginning to lift mask requirements


Bryleigh Conley

After three years of the pandemic that changed everyone, hospitals are finally lifting their mask mandates.

Bryleigh Conley, Reporter

As we all know, mask requirements from the pandemic have been decreasing and are almost rarely seen in places like school buildings and other public areas. Back in 2020, when the pandemic was first starting out, hospitals and other healthcare areas have been a definite “yes” on mask requirements and mandates, but up until now we are finally seeing some change.

As cases of COVID-19 and other severe respiratory illnesses drop, after almost three years, hospitals are slowly starting to lift their mask requirements and make them optional for the healthcare workers and their patients. The lift became effective on March 15, and a few of the first healthcare areas that followed this lift were Mercy and SSM Health with others beginning to follow after. Barnes Jewish Hospital began their lift on March 22 and are happy to see everyone’s smiling faces again.

“Patients are no longer required to wear masks at any SSM Health location,” stated on SSM Health’s website. “Patients are welcome to continue wearing masks if they are more comfortable doing so.”

Although masks are now not mandatory, healthcare areas will still provide them for those who feel more comfortable with them or may have a weak immune system. At SSM and Barnes Jewish Hospital facilities, they do advise that patients, and those who are seeing their patient, make sure to wear a mask if they have been in contact with, or showing symptoms or signs of not only the COVID-19 virus but any other respiratory illness.

“As part of living up to Our BJC Values, all staff are expected to respect the personal choices of employees, patients, and visitors who choose to mask,” stated by Rich Liekweg, BJC President and CEO in an email to the Barnes Jewish staff. “Most important, clinicians and employees will need to mask when providing care to a patient who requests the mask.”

Different rules apply for each hospital. Even though most hospitals are now following the lifted mask restrictions, they may have other rules that follow with it, so make sure you follow your hospital rules keeping yourself and those around you safe.