Dubbo Hospital patients will have to wear face masks when they leave their wards under a new directive from Western NSW Local Health District chief executive Scott McLachlan.
Mr McLachlan has advised that they are now part of the bid to help stop the spread of COVID-19 through the use of masks.
About a week ago visitors aged over 12 years and staff working within 1.5 metres of a patient were told to wear masks at health facilities cross the health district.
This week Mr McLachlan asked communities to "be prepared".
"We are urging the community to be prepared and to bring their own mask when they come to our health services," he said.
"If they are already wearing a cloth or surgical mask, they can continue to wear this.
"A mask will be provided during wellness screening when you enter the hospital if you don't have a mask already."
Mr McLachlan said if visitors had underlying health issues which they believed might prevent them from wearing a mask, they should seek advice from their local health facility before they visited it.
"Where possible, patients coming to a health service will be required to wear a mask and those patients already in hospital will be required to wear a mask outside their clinical area/ward," he said.
"At this stage, children 12 years old and under are not required to wear a mask if they do not have any symptoms."
The chief executive encouraged people to continue "physical distancing and hand washing/sanitising".
"The safety or our staff, patients and visitors is our priority and all visitors and staff must pass all applicable screening processes in place including temperature checking at all entrances to the facility," he said.