LAWRENCE, Kan. — Beginning Monday, masking is no longer required in most areas of Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

The hospital following others in the Kansas City-area by changing masking guidelines for patients, visitors, and employees.

While masks are now optional in many areas of the hospital, LMH says masks will not completely disappear.

Some areas treating immunosuppressed patients and other clinical areas will continue to require masking. The hospital says impacted areas will be identified with signs notifying people that masks are required.

Anyone with COVID-19 or other respiratory infections should wear a mask, according to the hospital. Isolation and social distancing precautions will remain in place for those with infections such as COVID-19 and flu.

The hospital also says patients who feel more comfortable with a doctor or nurse masking up can request hospital employees wear masks, and they will.

LMH says masking guidelines will be adjusted when needed. If community COVID-19 levels shirt to the high category, the hospital will likely announce it will shift back to stronger masking guidelines.