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DENVER (KDVR) — UCHealth will be lifting its mask mandate in hospitals and clinics effective March 1, FOX31’s Evan Kruegel confirmed.

As COVID numbers have declined significantly around the state, the health provider decided to lift the restriction but encourage safe practices for those experiencing symptoms of illness.

“Based on current numbers, we feel confident that we can stop the masking at least as a mandate,” Dr. Michelle Baron said.

UCHealth is still encouraging anyone experiencing cold, flu or other respiratory symptoms or who is not fully vaccinated to continue wearing a mask.

Kiosks at front entrances providing masks will remain in place.

Staff members who are experiencing respiratory issues or who are unvaccinated will be required to wear masks until flu season concludes (usually around April 1).

“If somebody has cold or respiratory symptoms, they should wear a mask,” Barron said. “You’re coming into a hospital where there’s people that are sick.”

As of Feb. 24, most other major health care provider locations still require masks to be worn by everyone in their facilities. National Jewish, HealthOne and Lutheran all still require face coverings, as do all Children’s Hospital Colorado locations.

Barron said the mask mandate could return if there’s a spike in COVID cases or if circumstances warrant it.

“We feel pretty good right now, but we could potentially change things depending on what’s circulating or if there’s any concerns about safety,” she said.

Denver Health and Centura both told FOX31 they will be broadly moving from mask requirements to mask recommendations on March 1. However, there are specific areas where masks will be mandated.