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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Do I have to wear a face mask or face covering in public in San Diego?

Some individuals have claimed health problems as to the reason why it is impossible to wear a face mask.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Face mask requirements remain in effect as San Diego coronavirus cases continue to rise, but do the same rules apply to everyone?

Recently, there has been a lot of debate and backlash since the order took effect, and viral videos show what can happen when someone is called out for not wearing a mask in public.

Some individuals have claimed health problems as to the reason why it is impossible to wear a face mask.

“Science does not take into consideration people’s feelings or belief systems. Evidence and fact – we have to use those as a guide for recommendations,” said Dr. Jyotu Sandhu at Sharp Reese-Stealy Medical Group.

News 8 has received emails asking about medical exemptions and questions surrounding fliers circulating around the internet that claim to be associated with the Department of Justice and the Americans with Disability Act.

The DOJ and ADA have issued alerts denouncing online efforts to associate them with any face mask medical exemptions posts on social media.

"The ADA does not provide a blanket exemption to people with disabilities from complying with legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operations," an ADA statement indicated. 

“Things like medical conditions, psychiatric conditions or mental disabilities that preclude people from wearing a mask, those are few and far between. Overall, the vast majority of patients should be wearing a mask to help themselves and others. 'Does a mask mitigate my risk or lower my risk for spreading the virus?' That's the important thing we need to focus on right now is lessening the risk and the evidence shows in fact that it does,” said Dr. Sandhu.

The state of California does offer exemptions for people with certain medical conditions. Essentially, the mandate states residents cannot be forced to wear a face covering, but when it comes to enforcement in San Diego County, businesses can require masks for entry and service.

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