Toronto Public Health was forced to respond to fake exemption cards on Twitter, noting that companies are not allowed to demand proof of medical exemption. He also noted that the cards are not approved by the health agency.
We know that face mask exemption cards are distributed in TO. Companies are not allowed to require proof of exemption if you are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons. These cards are neither approved nor supplied by TPH. More information on the regulations: https://t.co/OdsVc3e5HI pic.twitter.com/qFC88P1aqB
– Toronto Public Health (@TOPublicHealth) 15 juillet 2020
Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto Medical Officer of Health. said the cards were fraudulent and useless, but noted that there are still many reasons why someone may be required to keep a mask.
“It can be respiratory or heart problems or a developmental or cognitive problem that makes it difficult to wear and remove the mask,” said de Villa.
Prime Minister Doug Ford and Mayor John Tory have both opposed the false cards.
“Just be responsible, don’t be a scammer,” said Ford.
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He said he had been in contact with the Red Cross, whose logo, he said, was fraudulently used on some of the fake exemption cards.
“They are a large organization and it is unfortunate that people are using their logos and I understand that they may be taking action,” he said.
Tory said those who created them did it for political reasons and doubt that many will actually accept “scammers”.
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In Little Italy’s Red Pegasus gift shop, owner Rachel Chester said she thinks the guidelines could be clearer regarding medical withdrawal.
On Tuesday, she said that a woman had visited her store and announced that she could not wear a mask because of her asthma.
“I just asked him not to touch things and it was OK,” said Chester.
She said she thinks additional medical expert guidelines on not only those eligible for opt-outs for masks would be helpful, as well as instructions for those who don’t have to wear them.
“What are those requirements and even what should be the behavior of that person when they enter,” said Chester.
“I don’t know if she knew what her directions should be. “
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She believes that more advice could be provided to those who cannot wear a mask, covering details such as touching items, speaking loudly and other behaviors that could express droplets of liquid.
De Villa said that people who legitimately refuse to wear masks or face covers have a responsibility to be extremely vigilant.
She said they should be careful to keep their distance from others, stay home when sick, and cover their mouths if they cough, adding that people should wash their hands – especially if they cough or sneeze.
Overall, de Villa said that mask compliance is generally on the rise in the city. She said it was an easy and relatively inexpensive way to help keep other residents safe.
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