Officials have also refined a list of conditions that qualify.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said there were limited health issues that exempt Albertans from having to comply with provincial face masking law, and said Alberta Health clarified these conditions to help prevent viral spread and ensure people mask themselves properly.
Health conditions include:
- Sensory processing disorders
- Developmental delay or cognitive impairment
- Mental Illness Disorders
- Recent facial trauma or oral / jaw surgery
- Contact dermatitis or allergic reactions to mask components
- Clinically significant acute respiratory distress
“Starting today, in order to verify that a person has a medical condition that makes them unable to wear a mask, Albertans with these conditions will need a medical exception letter from a health professional. health, ”Hinshaw said.
“This letter is important to have, especially if law enforcement officials request it for not complying with the legal requirement to wear a mask in indoor public spaces. “
She said the letters must be issued by a nurse practitioner, doctor or psychologist.
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Hinshaw said Alberta Health has received feedback on how to make provincial public health orders “more enforceable,” and said having letters of evidence will help those on the front lines to do their best. job.
Albertans now need a COVID-19 mask exemption letter from a healthcare professional
She also said officials had received reports from staff and journalists of people “looking for loopholes” in the regulations.
“Sometimes it’s a challenge for our local law enforcement teams to be able to remind people of the importance of following these rules and that they are not optional – they are mandatory,” she said. declared.
Alberta has seen a number of protests and rallies against the masks and restrictions in recent weeks, including a large rodeo near Bowden, which has resulted in charges being laid against the organizers of the events.
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Hinshaw said similar approaches to medical exceptions to the mask law are already in use in Saskatchewan and Quebec, and Alberta’s decision to require a letter of proof was made on the basis of medical evidence.
“This change is not about unfairly punishing people. It aims to ensure that anyone able to wear a mask complies with this public health measure meant to protect us all, which is especially important during this third wave.
In addition to these exemptions, people do not have to wear a mask indoors in certain circumstances, including if they cannot put on or take off a mask independently, if they eat or drink while seated, or if there is an occupational risk. to wear one.
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Hinshaw said more information on the information needed in a waiver letter will be posted online.
“Advice has been shared with the professional colleges of health care practitioners who are authorized to write these letters,” she said.
The province-wide Alberta mask mandate has been in effect since December 2020, making it the last Canadian province to implement the public health order.
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