Non-mask wearers now need medical exemption letter

Non-medical masks (Erica Fisher, staff
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If you’re out in public without a mask, you should be prepared to show a letter explaining why. Alberta’s top doctor says anyone with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face-covering in public, indoor spaces as per provincial rules, will now require an “exception letter” from a health professional.

Conditions include sensory processing disorders, developmental delays/cognitive impairment, mental illness disorders, recent facial trauma/oral or jaw surgery, allergies to mask components, and clinically significant acute respiratory distress.

The medical exception letter must come from a nurse practitioner, physician, or psychologist and may be presented when in a public setting if requested by enforcement officials or in court if a ticket is issued.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says it’s a matter of empowering enforcement teams, something that’s especially important during this third wave of COVID-19. She also says requiring proof isn’t meant to punish people unfairly but to make sure those who are capable of complying with the rules, are doing so.

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Hinshaw notes Saskatchewan and Quebec have similar rules around mask exemption letters.

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