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Getting Answers: What to do if you can’t wear a face mask due to a medical condition

TUCSON (KVOA)- The Pima County Board of Supervisors enacted a countywide public health resolution requiring everyone over the age of five to wear face coverings when in public if six feet of physical distancing cannot by maintained on June 19th.

Many viewers have asked us: "What if I cannot wear a mask due to medical reasons like passing out? What are my options? Is there a mask for me?"

The mask resolution for Pima County includes a list of people who are exempt from wearing a mask. This includes: "Persons who cannot medically tolerate wearing a face covering. A person is not required to provide documentation demonstrating that the person cannot medically tolerate wearing a face covering. "

Also, it states that if you are in a party of 10 or less you don't have to wear a mask as long as the group can maintain a continuous physical distance of at least 6 feet.

The Pima County Health Department Director Doctor Theresa Cullen advised that there are many different types of masks and to not give up on finding the right mask for you.

"The important thing is to wear a cloth mask, face covering, or even a bandana - but not a surgical mask," said Dr. Cullen. "Your face mask should cover your nose, without poking your eyes, down to under your chin."

Dr. Cullen said that some people report taking a couple of deep breaths before putting on their mask helps.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that some people may choose to wear a face shield: "If face shields are used without a mask, they should wrap around the sides of the wearer's face and extend to below the chin."

Also if you are having trouble breathing, especially in this Arizona heat, than it is okay to take breaks from wearing a mask when you are not around other people.

If you have a question about the coronavirus, email and News 4 Tucson's Priscilla Casper will answer questions during the 6 p.m. newscast.

Priscilla Casper

Priscilla Casper is an anchor and multi-skilled journalist for News 4 Tucson. She anchors weekdays at noon and 4 p.m.

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