Masking related to COVID-19 precautions is now optional in all SSM Health, Mercy, St. Luke's, and BJC hospital facilities for patients, families, and healthcare providers. Patient screening questions for COVID symptoms will continue, and masks will still be available at hospital and clinic entrances in some of these facilities. Patients may also be required to wear masks in certain areas within the hospital. According to the CDC, people should mask to protect immunocompromised individuals, especially in high-risk areas. Overall, wearing a face mask indoors in a public place is effective in reducing the spread of COVID and other viruses.