DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Those visiting Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinical locations in Central Illinois will be required to wear masks starting next week.

VA Illiana is bringing back its mask requirement, starting Sept. 5. It is seen by the VA as a preventive measure to ensure veterans, staff and communities are safe through the uptick of positive COVID-19 cases in the region.

Zackary Landers, VA Illiana Public Affairs Specialist, said that the decision was for the benefit of the veterans within the network.

“VA Illiana is using publicly available data points made available by the CDC to monitor the COVID-19 situation in our communities. Specifically, these include hospitalization data and wastewater surveillance data,” Landers said. “We review the data every other week and make a decision based on our constant goal of providing the best possible care to the veterans we serve.”

Masks will be available at all main entrances and at appointment check-in desks to use prior to clinical encounters.