Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls is not allowing patients or visitors to wear cloth masks or gaiters starting Monday.
Face coverings are still required, but only isolation or surgical masks will be permitted. If someone doesn’t have that kind of mask, one will be provided if it’s available, the hospital said.
Masks will be available at hospital entrances and off-site clinical locations, including “Physical Therapy at the Nat,” located in the Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium.
“While cloth/alternative face coverings may be appropriate for being in the general public, in a health care setting, patients are often exposed to other patients as well as staff,” the hospital said in a statement. “Providing a well-fitted, clean mask that is in good repair is consistent with COVID protocols for reducing transmission.”
Western Reserve said the policy also ensures patients are wearing a clean mask when they enter the hospital and allows patients to discard the disposable mask after their visit.
At Cleveland Clinic Akron General, like other Cleveland Clinic locations, face masks are required for patients at all routine appointments and procedures without a hospital stay, emergency department patients and permitted visitors.
Face masks are “strongly encouraged” for patients admitted to the hospital and emergency department patients, unless they have a health or behavioral condition that prevents them from wearing one. Patients and permitted visitors will be given a mask to wear the entire time they are in Cleveland Clinic facilities. They can also bring their own masks from home.
At Summa Health, visitors are permitted to wear cloth masks. Surgical or dust masks are given to patients, but they can wear cloth masks if preferred.
Akron Children’s Hospital offers medical masks when patients, families and visitors enter, but they can still wear cloth face coverings. Masks aren’t required for children under 2.