SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health warned residents Tuesday of fake cards that claim to exempt people from having to wear face masks.
Officials used social media to alert the public that the cards are fraudulent and offer no exemption to the user. The department said it had received reports of people creating the cards and presenting them to businesses and schools.
"These are FAKE. The state of Utah, UDOH, and local health depts do NOT provide mask exemption cards," the tweet read.
At first glance, the cards appear to be real as they include a State of Utah seal, the signature of UDOH Executive Director Richard Saunders, and a UDOH phone number. However, it's all a fraud.
FRAUD ALERT. We've received reports of individuals reproducing and presenting these mask exemption cards with the state of Utah seal on them to businesses and schools. These are FAKE. The state of Utah, UDOH, and local health depts do NOT provide mask exemption cards. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/GQzbgW34eD— Utah Dept. of Health (@UtahDepOfHealth) April 13, 2021
Businesses and schools have already seen the card and reported it but it is a little too real for comfort for some.
“Man that looks official, that’s crazy,” said Sean Miller, owner of Park Cafe, when shown the card, adding "looks like it has a bunch of highlighted issues that are allowing exemptions on it. Yeah, that looks official, I am sure any employee would probably feel like that was an official card.”
Though Miller hasn’t seen it yet, he says without knowing he might have let that card slide.
And that’s why Utah Department of Health spokesperson Jenny Johnson stressed to FOX 13 “the state health department, the local health departments, we do not give out mask exemption cards.”
A second tweet offered links explaining who is exempt from wearing face masks in Utah:
- Child who is younger than three years old.
- Individual who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face mask without assistance.
- Individual with a medical condition, mental health condition, or intellectual or developmental disability, that prevents the individual from wearing a face mask.
Although Utah's statewide mask mandate ended Saturday, all public buildings and most businesses still require face masks to be worn. Gov. Cox and other state politicians implored residents to be respectful and refrain from violence when asked to wear a mask.
Police arrested a man Monday after he threatened to shoot up a Salt Lake City retail store when employees told him to put on a mask while inside.