VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Good Samaritan Hospital announced they were updating their mask policy on Tuesday, allowing for optional masking in all of their facilities.

The decision comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their guidelines for healthcare facilities late last month. The hospital will continue to monitor COVID transmission rates in Knox County– if levels rise to moderate or high transmission, the policy will change, according to marketing and public relations director Tiffany Conover.

“We’re going to be re-evaluating our mask policy every Monday based on what the color of Knox County is as far as transmission goes,” she said. “Right now, we’re in green, which is masking optional.”

Conover said it was a strange experience to remove the masks in the workplace after over two years,

It’s definitely been an interesting experience today, but it’s wonderful seeing peoples faces again,” she said. “In all reality, there are people that’ve passed in the hallway and we haven’t seen their face in over two years.”

The director for the Knox County Health Department’s COVID clinic, Betty Lankford, said she was encouraged by recent numbers, but insisted residents take the necessary precautions to avoid another spike in case numbers.

“I’m glad our numbers are down,” Lankford said. “There’s 50.7% of the residents in Knox County are vaccinated. That’s not a real pleasing number to me, that doesn’t make me feel real positive that we’re going to be able to put it down with half the population not vaccinated.”

WTWO reached out to several other hospitals in the area to see if they had made changes to their policies. Officials for Terre Haute Regional Hospital, Union Hospital, Greene County General Hospital and Sullivan County Community Hospital all say they will continue to require masks for the time being.