(Fargo, ND) -- Some bad news for those hoping one local healthcare provider would ease mask wearing inside their facilities. 

Despite the easing of mask mandates from federal agencies, state government and municipal leaders, Essentia Health will continue to enforce its mask policy. Universal masking for patients, visitors and staff will remain a requirement in all our facilities across Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.

In a released statment, Essentia said "While we respect the loosening of mask mandates, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent guidelines do not cover health care settings like hospitals, clinics and long-term-care facilities. Regardless of an individual’s vaccination status, the CDC recommends visitors to health care settings continue wearing a well-fitted face covering. COVID-19 remains prevalent in the communities we serve and wearing a mask has been proven to reduce transmission of the virus. This is especially important among the vulnerable populations often found in health care facilities, including those with compromised immune systems".

This in the wake of the CDC issuing new guidelines that allow vaccinated people to be in or outdoors in most settings without the face coverings.

Other area health providers, such as Sanford and Fargo Cass Public Health, are expected to follow suit.