State Health Officials Issue Warning About Fake Face Mask Exemption Cards
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Department of Health has issued a warning, letting people know that face mask exemption cards popping up across the state are fake.
Department officials said they have received multiple reports of people trying to use the cards to avoid wearing masks in schools and businesses.
The fake cards can look convincing because they included the Utah State Seal. Officials said it’s easy to spot a fake mask exemption card because no state agency issues them.
FRAUD ALERT. We've received reports of individuals reproducing and presenting these mask exemption cards with the state of Utah seal on them to businesses and schools. These are FAKE. The state of Utah, UDOH, and local health depts do NOT provide mask exemption cards. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/GQzbgW34eD
— Utah Dept. of Health (@UtahDepOfHealth) April 13, 2021
The Utah mask mandate expired on April 10, which left businesses and other entities to decide for themselves whether they will require masks.
Masks have been a matter of contention during the pandemic, but the issue intensified the day after the mandate expired when customers at two different stores threatened employees who asked them to put on a mask.
Around noon Sunday, William Lewis walked into The Stockist, a Salt Lake City clothing store in the 9th and 9th District. He was told by employees to wear a mask, but he refused. Employees told him to leave the store. That’s when officials said he told the workers he’d be back with a gun to shoot everyone there.
The second incident happened in Clearfield, where a Utah Transit Authority train host said Adam Robin Green allegedly threatened to kill her after she asked him several times to put on a mask.
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How do I prevent it?
The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
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