Atrium, Novant, CaroMont lift COVID-19 mask restrictions

More than three years after the first cases of COVID-19 in the Carolinas, universal mask requirements are being lifted in many clinics and hospitals around Charlotte.

Novant Health, Atrium Health, Caromont Health, Cone Health and Randolph Health are all removing mask requirements for patients, visitors, and team members on Tuesday. The new policy goes into effect at 7 a.m., according to a statement from the health groups.

Masks could still be required in some areas, though. The health care groups say exceptions will include “when respiratory virus symptoms are present, and in treatment areas for high-risk patients, including those in isolation.” The hospitals also say anyone with respiratory virus symptoms shouldn’t visit patients in the hospital.

>>Mecklenburg County drops mask mandate as COVID-19 trends continue to decrease

It’s also possible that the universal masking policy could come back if there’s an increase in COVID-19 cases.

But while mask requirements are lifted, you should still be washing your hands with soap frequently, and use hand sanitizer in between. You should also avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands.

You can find more information about COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County at this link.

(WATCH: Officials say Meck, Cabarrus counties experiencing high levels of COVID-19 community spread)