Although face coverings are required to be worn in California healthcare settings by individuals over the age of two, accommodations must be made for those individuals who have conditions that either prevent the use of masks or else mask-wearing is a significant impediment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers guidance regarding individuals who could be exempt from wearing a face covering, including people who have:
The Americans with Disabilities Act does not have any rules that specifically address face coverings in public; however, under Title III of the act, businesses must still consider reasonable modifications for people with disabilities.
If a patient requests an accommodation for a disability that is not obvious, providers are permitted to request medical documentation. If the patient’s disability is apparent, additional information should only be requested if necessary.
Practice owners should ensure that staff is trained on assisting patients who request reasonable accommodations based on what the practice is able to provide.
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