CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Two major North Carolina hospital chains announced some loosening to their visitor restrictions on Monday.

Novant Health and Atrium Health will lift restrictions placed on visitors who are 13 and under starting Tuesday morning. Novant will go with children/teens ages 13 and under. Atrium will let those aged 12 and under visit their Charlotte-area hospitals. Both groups cite declining respiratory and flu numbers as a reason for the change.

Both chains will continue to require patients and associates to wear masks at facilities according to CDC and regulatory restrictions.  

The hospital chains said the decision resulted from collaborating with other regional systems, including Novant Health, Atrium Health, Wake Forest Baptist, CaroMont Health, Cone Health, and Randolph Health.

Anyone experiencing respiratory virus symptoms is encouraged to help control the spread of the illness by not visiting patients in the hospital. Symptoms include fever, headaches/body aches/pain, cough or sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

According to North Carolina officials, influenza-positive tests are down at reporting hospitals and the state laboratory. COVID-like illnesses are also seeing a decline.