WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wesley Healthcare announced it is lifting masking requirements and visitor restrictions at Wesley Medical Center and Wesley Woodlawn Hospital & ER, as well as at Wesley’s freestanding emergency rooms in west Wichita and Derby.

The change was effective at 7 a.m. Tuesday due to declining COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates.

“We’ve seen a significant drop in COVID-19 cases at Wesley hospitals, which mirrors what hospitals are seeing across the nation,” Bill Voloch, president and CEO of Wesley Healthcare, said in a news release. “At this time, we’re confident we can make masking optional in most areas and resume normal visitation with minimal risk to visitors, patients and staff.”

While masks will no longer be required in a majority of Wesley’s hospital units, some areas will continue to require masks due to the presence of high-risk patient populations. Wesley also is asking that visitors who show any signs of respiratory illnesses continue to wear masks when they enter a facility.

In addition, Wesley Healthcare also is relaxing visitation restrictions for all departments, eliminating the one- and two-visitors-per-patient limit established previously for emergency room and inpatient units. No visitors under the age of 13 will be allowed in any ICU.