Kelowna group promoting fake medical exemption cards for masks | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna group promoting fake medical exemption cards for masks

Image Credit: Facebook/Kelowna Free Parents
May 01, 2021 - 7:30 AM

A Kelowna Facebook group against COVID-19 public health orders is sharing information on the use of fake medical exemption cards to avoid wearing masks indoors.

To help curb the spread of COVID-19, Public Health orders currently mandate mask use in all public places indoors.

The description of the group reads: “A group for free thinking like minded parents who want to do what is best for their children and believe that they themselves are the best people to decide that.”

Group members have shared Kelowna anti-COVID-19 restriction rally posts, and tips on what businesses members can attend that accept people without masks.

Recently, a “Kelowna Free Parents” group member, Chelsea Frank, who also plans to submit her nomination to become a Central Okanagan Public Schools School Board trustee, posted a photo of herself maskless in Walmart and included a photo of a “face mask medical exemption card” which includes logos of the American Centre for Disease Control and Government of Canada.

Frank posted on Facebook the mask exemption cards were handed out at a “Kelowna Freedom Rally.”

She said she has a medical exemption which she declined to comment on due to privacy but said the card made her feel safer in stores, noting she got it from her husband Jeff Frank and she didn’t attend the rally.

According to Public Health and the Ministry of Health, there are no cards in B.C. that indicate someone is exempt from wearing a mask.

“As outlined in the EPA mask mandate order, masks are required for everyone in many public indoor settings. A face shield is not a substitute for a mask as it has an opening below the mouth. A person could be subject to a $230 fine if they do not wear a mask in an indoor public setting, unless they are exempt,” said Marielle Tounsi, senior public affairs officer with the ministry, via email.

There are exemptions for: people with health conditions or with physical, cognitive or mental impairments who cannot wear one, people who cannot remove a mask on their own, children under the age of 12 and people who need to remove their masks to communicate due to another person's hearing impairment.

More information about B.C.’s mask mandate order can be found here.

The Facebook group has roughly 40 members as of April 30. Administrator Jeff Frank declined to comment.

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