WASHINGTON D.C., DC — QUESTION:
Is this 'Face Mask Exempt Card' legitimate?
Photos of these alleged “face mask exempt cards” are being shared online, indicating the cardholder doesn’t have to wear a mask because of a health or mental condition.
It also claims businesses that don’t recognize the card would be in violation of the “Americans with Disability Act.”
So we're verifying, is this card legit?
The United States Department of Justice issued a statement about them online.
"The Department of Justice has been made aware of postings or flyers on the internet regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the use of face masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of which include the Department of Justice's seal," they wrote in a COVID-19 alert. "These postings were not issued by the Department and are not endorsed by the Department."
If you look closer you’ll see some red flags. The person who created the flyer called it the "Americans with Disability Act," instead of its true name, the Americans with Disabilities Act. “Poses” is also misspelled.
The website at the bottom left corner of the card, for the Freedom To Breathe Agency, doesn't work either.
So we can Verify these exemption cards are not legit.
Our Verify researchers also checked official guidance from health departments and executive orders in D.C., Virginia and Maryland to see some examples of who is exempt from wearing a mask in public spaces.
All three jurisdictions said children younger than two, someone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or cannot remove a mask by themselves, should not wear a face covering.
An executive order signed by Gov. Northam says that any person who declines to wear a mask because of a medical condition does not need to provide documentation to prove their condition.