The change comes as a result of the increased spread and prevalence of multiple respiratory illnesses, such as RSV, the flu and COVID-19.
“We strongly recommend that face masks also be worn by patients, families and visitors to Cincinnati Children’s, but our health system doesn’t currently require it,” the hospital said. “That might change should local and national data show an even greater rise in respiratory illnesses in our area.”
The hospital said the decision was based on evidence that masks are effective in reducing the spread of illnesses. Children’s Hospital also said it made to promote the safety of patients, families, visitors and employees.
Other than wearing a mask, the hospital said washing hands is important and emphasized that vaccinations remain important in protecting oneself against infections.
The announcement comes as the White House also announced Wednesday that Americans will be able to once again order free at-home COVID-19 tests.
The Biden Administration is providing $600 million in funding to produce more COVID-19 tests, and Americans will be able to order four tests each. Orders for these tests will be available starting Sept. 25 and can be ordered at COVIDTests.gov, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The no-cost tests will be delivered for free by the United States Postal Service.