Lake of the Woods District Hospital is changing its masking policy.

Masks are no longer mandatory.

It follows the direction taken by other hospitals in northwestern Ontario.

"In May, Lake of the Woods District Hospital (LWDH) informed the public that LWDH had shifted from mandatory masking in all areas to only requiring masking in patient care areas. We indicated our intent was to evaluate this initial shift and determine what to do in the patient care areas based on our own review and consideration of what is happening in other Ontario hospitals," states a release.

There will still be some exceptions.

Patients with a fever or respiratory systems will still need to wear one.

Visitors of patients in respiratory isolation will also still wear a mask.

Masks will also be encouraged when in the emergency department, especially when the waiting area becomes crowded.

The hospital is making masks available at its screening desk and patient care units for those who want one.