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DES MOINES, Iowa – UnityPoint Health is making masks optional for most patients and visitors.

Leaders say the changes come as the community is experiencing lower levels of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.

Visitors who do not show signs of illness don’t need to mask up. But individuals will be asked to wear a face-covering if they are experiencing respiratory symptoms, have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 10 days, or have tested positive for coronavirus in the past 10 days.

UnityPoint doctors, nurses, and team members will still mask up when providing direct patient care. Broadlawns says it will continue to require masks within hospitals and clinics. WHO 13 is still waiting for word back from MercyOne on any updates to its masking policy.