OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City is combating the COVID-19 omicron variant with a new face mask policy.

Hospital officials ask that visitors, staff and patients wear a medical-grade face mask instead of a cloth mask.

Officials say they are making the change to best protect patients, co-workers and visitors from the omicron variant, which is spreading rapidly and causing a surge in COVID cases throughout the nation.

Boxes of acceptable face masks will be located at Mercy entrances.

Mercy’s updated visitor policy is featured on its website.

Oklahoma State Department of Health officials say omicron makes up 57 percent of COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma, with the other 43 percent connected to the delta variant.

The U.S. hit 1 million new COVID cases Monday, in large part because of omicron, according to NBC News.

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