Thamesview Family Health Team Position Statement on Mask Exemptions

We, the physicians of the Thamesview Family Health, believe in provide the best care to our community. In light of the new universal masking recommendations, and multiple phone calls from concerned patients regarding universal masking, we have evaluated the current available evidence. To date, the current evidence for masking during COVID 19 outweighs any  theoretical risks. As such, we fully advocate for universal masking, in addition to maintaining a 2m physical distance at all times and diligent frequent handwashing (or the use of an alcohol based hand sanitizer).

Inappropriate medical exemptions have the potential to inadvertently hasten the spread of COVID 19 in our community.

However, there are exceptional circumstances, which do warrant consideration of a mask exemption.

These include:

  • People, especially children, with severe sensory processing disorders
  • Patients with facial deformities that are incompatible with masking
  • Children less than 2 years of age
  • Children less than 5 years of age (cognitively or developmentally) who refuse to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to
  • People with PTSD who are triggered by a face covering
  • Extreme agoraphobia/asphyxia phobia (which is longstanding predating COVID 19)
  • People with cognitive impairment, intellectual deficiency or autism spectrum disorder for who wearing a face covering will cause severe distress or disorganization
  • People unable to apply or remove a face covering without help
  • People with accommodations under the Ontario Human Rights Code or the Accessibility for Ontarians with a Disabilities Act (that would pertain to wearing a face covering i.e. immobilization in a wheelchair would not qualify)

If you believe, based upon the above criteria, that you warrant an exemption, or if you want to discuss your concerns with your physician or one of our counsellors, please call the clinic for a virtual appointment. You will be booked with your own physician (or counsellor at your request).

We strongly advise people who are exempt from wearing a face covering to avoid all indoor public spaces.