GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — ECU Health announced Friday it is relaxing its universal masking guidelines for healthy patients, visitors and employees.

Effective Monday, masks will be optional at all ECU Health facilities, including ECU Health Physicians clinics, according to a press release. Patients can still request that their care team wear masks while providing direct care. ECU Health will still require masking for “those who feel sick or have symptoms of an infectious virus: fever, cough and runny nose.”

“Eastern North Carolina, along with the rest of the state, has seen a steady decline in infectious virus hospitalizations and positive cases in the community,” the health system said in the press release. “This, combined with widespread levels of immunity due to vaccines, boosters and natural immunity, has led to a lower risk of spread in the health care setting.” 

ECU Health said those who still choose to wear a mask or are required to wear one should use clean, intact surgical masks or N95/KN95 masks. ECU Health will have masks available upon entry at its facilities.

“ECU Health continues to monitor infectious virus rates across the state and in eastern North Carolina to best protect team members and those we serve,” the health system said. “The new masking guidelines will remain in effect for as long as infectious diseases are low in our community and pose minimal risk. ECU Health’s masking guidance may be adjusted as needed based on the prevalence of infectious viruses in the region, including reinstating universal masking, in the event of a significant surge or new infectious disease.”